If you’re thinking about getting some work done on your house, you are not alone.
According to research from Lloyds Bank, as a nation we’re obsessed with home
improvements. A staggering 44% of us have either completed some significant home
improvements or are planning on doing so shortly.

The most common reasons cited for undertaking projects were:

To change the use of a room (32%). And our favourite target is the spare room, which we
regularly turn into an office or an extra entertaining space. Changing a room’s function is
unlikely to add any value, a fact recognised by 40% of those interviewed. However, a further
17% believed that in doing so, they had added £10,000-£25,000 and a highly optimistic 10%
were under the impression they had added between £25,000-£50,000. Nobody mentioned
that sacrificing a bedroom can just as easily reduce the value of a property.

And that brings us to our most common motivation – which is, of course, to add value (33%).
The survey reveals that it’s an area where we have a high degree of confidence in our own
abilities, as 25% of us buy properties with the intention of adding value either by updating or
extending them.

29% of home improvers claim that, as the result of the work they’d carried out, the property
was worth between £10,000 to £25,000 more. That’s not a bad return when you consider
that the average home improvement project costs just £4,000.

Our confidence can sometimes be misplaced, though, as we have a tendency to over-
estimate the value we add, especially if the work is not done to the right quality. Around 10%
of our projects go wrong, landing us with a bill that’s typically as high as £3,200. None of it
was our fault, of course, 54% of us blamed shoddy workmanship for the problems.

Reading between the lines, what the survey really shows us is that many of us, myself
included, harbour the belief that we are part-time property developers. Unfortunately, with
little real experience in the area, we are not always as good at it as we like to think we are.
Lloyds Bank takes a more diplomatic view,

Most homeowners will dabble with home improvements at some stage, whether it & is a DIY
project or a major construction. Whats important is to ensure the job is done to a high
standard as botched jobs can be quite costly to rectify. Although the reasons for home
improvements may differ from person to person, making a house a home is a key motivator