AdvicePainting and decoratingPhil Spencer

Home Improvement Projects to Avoid

Gone are the days of renovating a house, turning it around quickly only to sell up and move on to the next rung on the property ladder. People are moving less and adding value should be seen as a long term investment, not just in terms of retail value. You want a home in which you can take pleasure in living.

You don’t need to wait until you sell your property to undertake projects to add value. If you create a home that you and your family enjoying living in, it is likely that when you come to sell up potential buyers will be able to imagine their family living there happily, too.

If you’re not restrained by budget, deciding what not to do is often the biggest challenge.


Everyone wants to have the best house on their street, but be careful not to out-grow your street. Any house on a given road can not command a significantly higher asking price than its neighbouring houses; potential buyers looking for a £500k house do not wish to live on a street of £250k houses.

Start by looking at the houses on your street and if you can get a look from the rear of the properties (even better), you will be able to see how and where other properties have been extended/ developed. Chances are that if your neighbours have gained planning permission you will too, for a similar project.

home improvement

Image source: Tiny Home Blog


There is value to be had adding bedrooms, until you get to five. There is a substantial difference in price until you jump from a 5 to 6 bedroom house, at which point if you’re developing a property with the view to add value there are like to be other improvements that will have a better return on investment.

home renovation


Badly executed, superficial DIY projects certainly put buyers off, especially if your house is competing with similar properties in the same area with a high spec finish.

It’s not just concerns about touching up paint work or re-hanging a door. If there’s dodgy grouting in the bathroom, house hunters may well suspect you’ve been tackling more substantial home improvement projects – perhaps you decided to service your own boiler or attempted some plumbing. This can cause alarm bells to start ringing!


There are some projects that you just shouldn’t tackle yourself and some, such as gas and electrical work, that legally you’re not allowed to attempt. Areas in the home such as the bathroom and kitchen are restricted areas for electrical work, which means only a qualified electrician is permitted access. Should an unqualified person conduct the work a surveyor will pick this up when you come to sell the house.

Looking for tradespeople you can trust for a big home improvement project? Post your job on Rated People and up to three tradespeople will get in touch to quote on your job. You’ll be able to view their individual profiles, complete with previous customer recommendations, to help you decide who to hire.

Phil Spencer

Phil Spencer doesn’t need much of an introduction, he’s TV’s most well-known property presenter, having co-presented Location, Location, Location and Relocation, Relocation for over 10 years. Phil'ls blog posts focus on adding value and advice/ tips for when you're buying or selling your house.

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