LV= Finds Dodgy DIY Improvements Damage House Values
on: May 11, 2010, 5:34 am
New research by home insurer LV= has revealed that in the last
few years as many as 4.05m homeowners have undertaken electrical jobs
without professional help, 3.3m have attempted plumbing work and 1.35m
have carried out structural work such as removing walls. 900,000 have
undertaken major building works, such as loft conversions, and 450,000
have tackled potentially dangerous gas repairs.
According to the LV= survey, many homeowners admitted undertaking these works in an
attempt to improve the resale value of their homes. However, the effects of doing
these jobs badly can reduce the sale price of a property by more than 5% in some
John O'Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: "With house prices falling or
stagnating in some parts of the UK, it's understandable that many homeowners should
try to bump up the value of their properties through DIY home improvements.
"But although nine out of ten people in our survey (88%) recognised that jobs like
gas work should only be left to the professionals, nearly 0.5m Brits are still
prepared to give it a go. Not only could bungling these jobs be dangerous, and
costly to put right, but if they caused a serious problem with the property it could
invalidate the home insurance cover."
The LV= report surveyed both homeowners and estate agents, and
reveals a myriad of conflicting opinions when it comes to the impact of DIY
improvements. 21% of home owners believe that redecorating adds the most value to a
house, followed by kitchen refurbishment (14%), garden work (12%), and bathroom
Meanwhile 69% of estate agents believe decorating will make no difference at all to
the asking price of a property. 64% responded that garden landscaping won't add
value; whilst 22% said even a new kitchen won't improve the price. Estate agents
also believe that the sale price of a property could decrease by more than 5% in
some cases, if ‘improvement' work was done poorly.
Despite popular opinion, estate agents say that some of the most costly jobs are
likely to have only a minimal impact on the asking price of a home. Those agents who
believe that improvement work usually or always adds value reported that a new
kitchen, if done well, can add around 2.5% to the price, while a good new bathroom
or garden landscaping can each add 2.2%.
Structural improvements that are done well, such as a good loft conversion, top the
added value list and can boost a property's price by around 8%, however it still
doesn't make good financial sense, as the cost of the work is likely to be higher
than the increase in the property's value.
John O'Roarke concluded: "Our research shows that the days of being able to buy a
property, do it up yourself on the cheap and then sell it on at a profit, are over.
DIY home improvements may cut the initial costs, compared with getting the
professionals in, but they might not add any value to the property at all. And
sloppy work is likely to reduce the resale price and could even invalidate the home
– ends –
Notes to Editors:
Consumer research carried out by Opinium Research. 2,012 UK adults questioned online
between 5-9th March 2010.
Estate agent research carried out by PCP Research. 205 UK estate agents were
questioned by phone between 12-25th March 2010.
LV= and LV= Liverpool Victoria are trademarks of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society
Limited. LV= and LV= Liverpool Victoria are trading styles of the Liverpool Victoria
group of companies.
In addition to home insurance, LV= is widely recognised for the quality of its car
insurance, life cover and travel
LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and entered on
the Financial Services Authority Register No 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI,
AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.
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