AdviceGuest postsPhil Spencer

Phil Spencer – Your Questions Answered

Did you miss last week’s Twitter Q&A with property guru and all around nice guy, Phil Spencer? Fear not, we’ve rounded up a selection of Phil’s pearls of wisdom for your reference. Planning an extension or debating whether to move or renovate? Phil’s got the answer!

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Q: We have a four bed detached house with room to build bedroom five over the garage. Is it worth it? We’re not desperate for extra space.

A: Interesting question. You should get your money back as it’s cheaper to build space rather than buy it. Not a huge amount of difference between a four and five bed, so it might not be worth the hassle.

Q. What fix-up jobs should you never put off round the house?

A. The quickest job is the one that most people put off and the one that causes damage. Clean the leaves out of your gutters!

Q: I’m planning to retire 200 miles away in three years. How soon should I start house hunting?

A: Depends on how specific your requirements are, but leave 18 months for house hunting, just to be safe!

Q: What general renovations can devalue a property?

A: Bad DIY, it can cause problems if mistakes are visible!

Q: How many times have you moved house?

A: I’ve moved home four times and redeveloped all of them which means I’ve also had time in rented properties.

Q: Tenants left my home in a state whilst I was abroad. How do I turn it around quickly on a budget?

A: Hopefully you’ve kept the deposit, but new carpets and a fresh coat of paint make a big difference quickly and cheaply.

Q: Do you have any tips on incorporating colour into a kitchen?

A: You can bring a lot of colour into your kitchen with your appliances and accessories, no need for decorating.

Q: When renovating a house what would your top tip be for injecting life into a tired kitchen?

A: Fresh grout, new tiles, new cupboard doors, new floor…all of these things can be done pretty cheaply!

Q: Tell us about your first home. How much did you pay? Are you still in it?

A: I paid £160,000 for a four bed flat. Converted into two and lived in the other one for five years.

Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen someone do to their house?

A: When filming Secret Agent I saw a lot of crazy stuff! But the biggest crime was not cleaning your home when trying to sell it.

Q. Which room should I focus on improving in order to add value to my property?

A. The kitchen. It is the hub of the home and it’s often the make or break behind a deal. But don’t forget the garden.

Q. What is the best question to ask the estate agent when viewing a property?

A. If you like the property, ask the agent the following: What did they base the asking price on? Can they justify it?

Q: What is the guaranteed way to add value and which things lose money?

A: This is a very bold question but making it bigger will add value whilst overspending will lose it.

Q: What are your thoughts on WiFi connected appliances in the kitchen?

A: I’m aware that this is the way the world is moving but I see this as novelty value rather than adding value!

Q. I have a conservatory that gets too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. What can I do to make it liveable?

A: This is a common problem with older conservatories where corners may have been cut. Insulation can help keep it warm in the winter and blinds can help keep cool in the summer.

Q: Will there be another series of Love it or List it?

A: I have some great news, yes there will be! Series two will have eight episodes, we start filming later this year.

Q. Any advice for neighbour relations when you’re having external/garden work done?

A: Plenty of warning and cases of wine should do the trick!


Planning an extension or some home improvements? Leave it to the experts and post your job here!


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  1. Hi Phil,I received an email from rated people .com, and they were telling me, and every other reader, how to kill bees. Do you think this is appropriate as i am sure you are aware of the demise of the bees, and even though they said it should not have been sent out, someone must have authorised it. as you front this company you should look into it, and tell me the outcome please. Not to impressed Chris Peacher. I have used rated people .com, but not very satisfactorily.

  2. A: Interesting question. You should get your money back as it’s cheaper to build space rather than buy it. Not a huge amount of difference between a four and five bed, so it might not be worth the hassle. It IS worth the hassle if you make it bedroom ensuite or better still a studio flat with kitchenette. We have just done it & it has made a large increase on our selling price.

  3. Morning.

    I bought high gloss kitchen doors and hate them. I have old Ikea kitchen doors in birch to fit same units, I want to spray them Satin black, any tips?

  4. Hi Phil
    I am looking to buy a property to renovate and rent out. Can you give any tips if the house needs complete renovation where to start and where to finish in respect of electrics, heating, plumbing, plastering.

  5. I have just told my neighbour that I am putting my house up for sale, now – after 20 yrs living next door to them, they are telling me that my fence is in the wrong place, on their grounds. The two pieces of fence went up 8 yrs ago and not once in that time have they ever mentioned it. Now, with my landscaped garden looking fantastic and ready for marketing they are making this claim. They have asked me to pay £250 towards a £500 quotation from a land surveyor who is a friend of their son’s who works in a law firm. When I said what happens if I am proven to be right, will they refund my £250, they replied no. It seems so unfair they are making this statement, if they are right they take part of my land and destroy my climbing roses, but if wrong they lose nothing only I come out with nothing. I am really upset about this, what are your thoughts?

    1. Hi Janice,

      Now that’s something we’d all like to know – although I have a very strong suspicion that there isn’t an answer for that one! 😉

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