Owning a home can give you the freedom to make changes to the property and adapt it to suit your wants and needs.
But if you’re hoping to sell your house in the future, some DIY projects might not actually add to the value of your house, but detract from it instead.
Sofa and carpet specialist, ScS, has partnered with estate agents from across the country in order to reveal the 10 DIY projects and amendments that can reduce your market value the most.
Converting a bedroom - up to 20% off the property value
Most buyers search for properties based on the number of bedrooms that they have, so converting or removing a bedroom can make your home less saleable.
Alex Willocks, owner of Burbeck Interiors, says, “The value of a home comes from the number of rooms, so merging two small bedrooms, or swapping a bedroom for a bathroom, can actually decrease its worth. Bedrooms are valuable commodities and private space is a lot more desirable than open space.”
Head of Content at webuyanyhouse.co.uk, Holly Herbert, agrees with this and explains that converting or removing a bedroom could knock up to 20 per cent off the property’s value.
Converting a garage - up to 7% off the property value
Converting your unused garage to an extra room may be beneficial to you, but it could also decrease your property value.
Paul Keighley, Residential Partner at Bramleys Estate Agents, explains, “Converting a garage feels like it should add value as you are increasing the size and use of your property, but in reality you are removing parking and storage space, which we have found is always high on a buyer’s checklist.”
Garage conversions, particularly those which are poorly executed or unnecessary, can decrease a property’s value by up to seven per cent, explains Ms Herbert.
Building an extension without the correct planning permission - up to 15% off the property value
Extending your property can be a great addition to your home, but if you do not get full approval from your council, this could cause problems for prospective buyers.
Ms Herbert adds, “Any extensions built without proper planning permission might have to be torn down, putting you at a huge loss, and decreasing your house value. Any new homeowner would have to apply for the appropriate permission and this extra hassle can be very off-putting. This could affect market value by between five and 15 per cent.”
Adding certain plants to your garden - up to 15% off the property value
Many homeowners like to spruce up their gardens to suit their taste, adding a range of plants to their outdoor space. However, adding the wrong plants to your property could harm its value.
“Always take advice about tree planting. While certain species have a small root base, others can stretch further than the height of the tree. These roots can crack drains, break driveways and ultimately affect the foundations of the house and become a costly fix,” adds Mr Keighley.
Ms Herbert explains that the biggest nuisance is Japanese Knotweed. Depending on the severity of it, this can reduce a house’s value by up to 15 per cent.
Installing lavish garden features, including swimming pools - up to 7% off the property value
Adding a pond or swimming pool to your home might seem like a luxurious idea, but some future buyers may see them as dangerous for children and expensive to maintain, which could put them off the property.
“You will likely narrow down your potential viewers with features like a pool or a hot tub, as most people are unlikely to use them often and they can require a lot of maintenance work. They can really put buyers off and lead to a seven per cent drop in house value,” explains Ms Herbert.
Going open plan and making mistakes - up to 30% off the property value
Open plan rooms can make your home feel more spacious, but if you make a mistake during the conversion, you could ruin the property.
Mr Willocks explains that such damage could be bad to your property value, with reductions of up to 30 per cent.
Meddling with key appliances - up to 5% off the property value
If you mess with your gas and electric systems and get it wrong, this could decrease your property value.
If amateur DIY efforts mean your house has to be rewired, it’s estimated this could reduce its value by around five per cent.
Installing poor quality windows or doors - up to 5% off the property value
Windows and doors are key contributors to a house’s appeal, so low-quality products could affect saleability by up to five per cent.
Ms Herbert says, “Adding poor windows will absolutely lower your house value, as they usually look off-putting and will mean spending more money in the future - whether by trying to keep the house warm if they aren’t insulated, or having to replace them to make them more efficient.”
Adding a poor quality conservatory or sunroom - up to 5% off the property value
The above is also the case for conservatories or sunrooms, if they are poorly built or badly placed.
“If there are any issues with leaking, clouded or cracked glass, or if there is little privacy in your garden, you could see a five per cent decrease in market value,” Ms Herbert adds.
Adding quirky tiling - up to 4% off the property value
You may want to add quirky tiling to your home to improve its look, but this could also be off-putting to some buyers.
“Keep any tiling neutral and to a minimum, as it is expensive to alter when upgrading. If a potential buyer visits a property to find tiles in multiple rooms that they hate, they will think of how much it will cost to remove and they might be unlikely to make an offer.”