Top home improvements

  1. Central heating
  2. Kitchen
  3. Bathroom
  4. Insulation
  5. Extension
  6. Loft conversion
  7. Decorating
  8. New windows
  9. Conservatory
  10. Improvements to the garden

Central heating – radiators and boilers are warm favourites.  The best boilers to install are the energy-efficient, gas-condensing types which use 20 per cent to 40 per cent less energy.
Value Factor:  10/10
Average cost:  £2,500

Kitchen – pick the best kitchen you can afford, while keeping your outlay in proportion to your home’s value.
Value Factor:  8/10
Average cost:  £8,000

Bathroom – improvements to your bathroom is still a popular choice.  Novelty features such as corner baths, sunken basins and whirlpools are in demand.
Value Factor:  7/10
Average cost:  £1,500

Insulation – half of all homes have less than the recommended six inches of loft lagging, three-quarters are inadequately draught-proofed and cavity walls are installed in only one out of five dwellings.  Roof lagging soon pays for itself in lower fuel bills.
Value Factor:  7/10
Average cost:  £800

Extension – your home’s value depends more on the neighbourhood than your efforts at DIY, so building an extension resembling a stately home may not add significant value to your home.
Value Factor:  7/10
Average cost: single storey:  £20,000  Two-storey:  £30,000

Loft conversion – it needs careful planning – if the jobs done badly, it will decrease your selling price and some conversions can look ugly.  Even if it goes well, don’t expect to get anything like the cost of it back when you sell.
Value Factor:  7/10
Average cost:  £15,000

Decorating – this is one of the easier DIY jobs to undertake and its results offer more satisfaction.  If you are decorating before putting a house on the market, go for simple approaches and neutral colours.
Value Factor:  6/10
Average cost:  variable

New windows – double glazing provides extra insulation, which helps cut fuel bills.  A bonus is that the frames do not rust, rot or need painting.  Always have at least one window on the first floor which opens wide enough for you to escape in the event of a fire.
Value Factor:  5/10
Average cost:  £5,000

Conservatory – you do not need building regulations approval if your conservatory will occupy less than 30 square metres, but planning permission may be needed, so always check.  Ensure it doesn’t impose too much on your garden space.
Value Factor:  5/10
Average cost:  £15,000

Improvements to the garden – buyers go for neat, well-maintained gardens, which they can change easily when they move in, rather than those which are over-elaborate or landscaped.  Security matters and floodlighting can be an effective deterrent, but make sure it won’t annoy the neighbours.
Value Factor:  4/10
Average cost:  variable