DIY disasters that could knock thousands off your home’s asking price

Category: News

Do you fancy yourself as the next ‘Handy Andy’ or Anna Ryder Richardson?

Carrying out home improvements might seem like a great way of boosting your home’s value. But there’s a high chance it could cost you dearly.

According to Aviva, the annual cost of DIY disasters in the UK is a huge £7 billion. One in ten people has run up a bill of more than £2,000 trying to fix home improvement failures.

Botched DIY jobs could even knock thousands of pounds off your home’s asking price.

Here are some of the costliest DIY disasters to avoid.

1. Going open plan

If you’re thinking of making your home more spacious by going open plan, make sure you call in the professionals.

According to research by ScS, a bodged open-plan project could reduce your property’s value by up to 30%. Figures from the Land Registry show the average price of a UK property reached £244,513 in September 2020, meaning this could cost you just over £73,000.

“If you’re considering an open-plan layout, you need to make sure you do the proper research and have several professionals assess the plans and the property before you take any action,” says Holly Herbert, at “You could cause irreparable structural damage and leave your house unliveable.”

2. Converting a bedroom into a bathroom

Converting a bedroom into a bathroom is likely to reduce your property’s value and its attractiveness to potential buyers.

When buyers search for a property, they usually start by looking at the number of bedrooms the property has. So, if you remove a bedroom, your property could fall into a lower bracket.

You could end up knocking around 20% off your home’s asking price, ScS’s research shows.

However, this isn’t always the case. According to Home Improvement Loans, you might break even if you have a larger property. For example, turning a six-bedroom home with one bathroom into a five-bedroom home with two bathrooms could make it more attractive to buyers.

3. Building an extension without permission

If you build an extension without the right planning permission, it might have to be torn down. This could cause you huge financial losses and reduce your home’s value.

You might also put off prospective buyers, who would have to apply for the appropriate permissions themselves. A report by This is Money suggests you could lower your home’s asking price by as much as 15%.

You might not need planning permission if your extension fits within certain parameters, including:

  • Extensions can’t be higher than the highest part of the existing roof
  • Only half the area of land around the original house can be covered by extensions or other buildings
  • The materials used must be of a similar appearance to those on the exterior of the existing house
  • A side or single-storey rear extension can’t exceed four metres in height.

It’s always worth checking with your local authority that your extension meets the permitted development criteria. Any side extension of more than one storey will require householder planning permission.

4. Converting a garage

You might think converting your garage to another room would add value to your property but, in most circumstances, this is unlikely to be the case.

In fact, converting a garage could knock up to 7% off your property’s value, especially if it’s unnecessary or done badly.

As Paul Keighley, residential partner at Bramleys Estate Agents, explains: “Converting a garage feels like it should add value as you are increasing the size and use of your property, but in reality you are removing parking and storage space, which we have found is always high on a buyer’s checklist.”

5. Installing poor quality windows, doors or conservatories

Windows and doors make a big difference to your home’s kerb appeal, so it’s important not to be too stingy when installing new ones.

If windows and doors aren’t insulated, and prospective buyers need to replace them, this could reduce your property’s market value by around 5%, ScS’s survey found.

Adding a poor-quality conservatory could knock off another 5%, especially if there are issues with leaking, clouded or cracked glass.

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If you’re a first-time buyer, looking to upgrade your home or in need of advice on your current mortgage, please get in touch. Email or call 0330 320 5048.

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