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On Bank Holidays, as a third of us face the prospect of spending half our salary at the DIY shop and devoting valuable holiday time to the state of the spare bedroom, it's worth taking a breath and asking one quick question.

Will your home improvements make your home worth more - or will they actually damage the value of your property?

No idea

A survey by Topps Tiles found that 75% have no idea of the improvements which add the most value. When asked to guess which project was worth the most they plumped for a new kitchen, followed by an extension and a new conservatory. In fact all these answers were wrong: a loft conversion is a clear winner.


The loft conversion adds an average of £20,876 to the value of a property. In second place is the extension or conservatory, which adds an average of £12,151. The new kitchen is in third place, adding £5,267 on average, with new windows in fourth, adding £5,265 and a new bathroom is fifth, adding £3,351.

Men are slightly more clued up on what adds value to a property than women. Some 29% of men correctly identified a loft conversion as the home improvement that adds most value compared with only 19% of women. A spokesperson at Topps Tiles said:"As a general trend, women tended to think that improving the interior of their home would add the most value, whilst men tended to opt for home improvements that create more rooms and space."

Is it worth it?

The costs and confusion raise the question of whether the work is really worth it - in terms of adding value. The average loft conversion will cost between £20,000 and £30,000. And while you may be able to get the job done for £17,500, it begs the question of whether the trouble and mess is worth it for a £3,000 profit.

Likewise an extension will set you back between £20,000 and £30,000 on average - far more than it adds in value. A conservatory is closer to adding value, costing around £10,000 and delivering £12,000, but again it's marginal.

A new kitchen is another dead loss, costing £8,000 and adding thousands of pounds less. New windows should enable you to break-even by costing around £5,000. However, the real winner is the bathroom, which costs an average of £1,500 and adding more than double this.

Danger

Plus, of course, to add value you need to do the job properly. The Topps Tiles survey also reveals how many DIY enthusiasts are cutting corners when it comes to jobs needing to be done around the home. A third of men admitted to tackling plumbing jobs themselves rather than hiring a professional, and over half of respondents admitted to never reading an instruction manual or how-to guide.

It seems that in many cases, with the property market in such a state, you may be better off putting your feet up this Bank Holiday.

Top 5 home improvements for adding value (HSBC):

Loft conversion £20,876
Extension/Conservatory £12,151
New Kitchen £5,617
New Windows £5,265
New Bathroom £3,351

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