Can DIY add value to your home? Our top five dos and don'ts
We are a nation of DIY lovers, and more than half of us have plans to spend weekends doing projects around the home and garden.
But whether you're going to do the work yourself or get an expert in to help you, take a look at our top tips on how to make the most effective use of your time, energy and cash.
1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST
If you, like 75% of the population, are planning to tackle home improvements on your own, make sure you're well prepared: faulty work is a sure-fire way to lose value on your home, as well as costing you a lot more if things go wrong.
"It's good to see that so many people are planning to use their time off productively, but we also know from past experience that there is a tendency among DIY enthusiasts to underestimate the difficulty or length of their home improvement projects," says Colin Greenhill, director of Santander Insurance.
2. DO THE JOB SAFELY
If you're not trained to do the work and you haven't got the right skills or knowledge for the job, don't attempt it, as you could end up with a bigger bill than you first estimated.
Richard Brown, spokesperson for HSBC, says: "Insurance companies receive many claims involving DIY-related accidents.
"Always make sure you plan well before attempting DIY and seek professional advice if necessary. Also check that your home insurance policy covers you for accidental damage."
3. CREATE EXTRA SPACE
Any extra space you can add to a property will almost always boost its value.
But the amount extra space adds to the value of your home has dropped in recent years, according to HSBC. On average, a new conservatory will add £9,420. A loft conversion will add £16,152, while a room extension will add £15,665.
Of course, DIY projects that cost more than they add in value don't make financial sense, so work out how much the final bill will be beforehand.
4. MAKE EVERY LITTLE COUNT
If you can't afford to fork out for major improvements, smaller projects can also be effective. Replacing your carpets, for example, adds an average £1,738 to the property value. If space is an issue, moving or removing internal walls could create a new room and will cost a lot less than an extension.
Another way to create value is by updating your windows with double-glazing and making sure all electrical appliances, such as the boiler and plumbing systems, are in good working order.
5. CREATE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION
Touching up your paintwork is an easy way to change a property and can add an average of £3,100 to the price of your house. Although your house is your home, think carefully about your décor if you're considering selling in the foreseeable future. You might like a lime green living room, but the next owners probably won't.
And never forget about 'kerb appeal'. Neglecting the outside of your property can wipe around 5% off the sale price, so make sure your exterior paintwork, gutters and windows all look their best.
Keeping your garden tidy and under control can also add to your property's appeal. After all, a jungle is unlikely to impress potential buyers.