DIY disasters 'cut house prices by 5%'Have-a-go DIY can cost you dear, says new research

01 May 2010

Homebase Value hammer

New research suggests resisting the temptation to carry out home improvements could save you from wiping up to 5% off the value of your home - and invalidating your home insurance.

With spring in the air and the UK housing market perking up, many home sellers are looking to DIY home improvements to boost the value of their properties. 

Although structural building work, such as a good loft conversion, can add as much 8% to the asking price, estate agents don't always find that's the reality, with seriously botched work potentially invalidating .

Repair your home safely

A survey commissioned by LV= Insurance found 500,000 homeowners were prepared to have a go at potentially dangerous tasks such as gas work, although nearly 90% realised it should be left to the professionals.

If you’re embarking on a DIY project, make sure you read our DIY home repairs guide first, which offers expert tips on carrying out home maintenance tasks safely, and handy checklists of the materials you’ll need for each job. 

If you're thinking about employing the skills of a professional, read our guides to tradespeople costs and employing a builder.

DIY home improvements

But even when DIY work is done well, the affect on a home's value may be disappointing. While a fifth of people believed that redecorating would add the most value to their home, 70% of estate agents said that it would make no difference. And the 12% who believe that a better garden can boost a home's value most may be wrong-footed by the 64% of estate agents who say don't bother.

And 20% of estate agents said that putting in a new kitchen would have little impact on the asking price.

Employ a professional

Which? DIY expert Alice Judd advises: 'If you have the DIY skills, go ahead and do the work yourself, but if you've any doubts at all about your abilities do get a professional involved - it may save money in the long-run. And make sure you find someone qualified to do the work - our guide to employing tradespeople explains the qualifications different tradesmen - such as plumbers and electricians - could hold.

'Try Which? Local - a recommendation site exclusively for Which? members that lets you search for recommended traders in your area.'

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