DIY errors 'may reduce house price'
Thousands of Britons have carried out home improvements in the hope of boosting the value of their property, but many may actually have reduced it, an insurer warned.
Around 27% of homeowners admit they have undertaken electrical jobs without professional help, while 22% have attempted plumbing work, and 9% have tried their hand at structural improvements, such as removing walls.
A further 6% have even tried to carry out major building work themselves, such as a loft conversion, while 3% have tackled potentially dangerous gas repairs, according to LV=.
But the group warned that while many homeowners had carried out the improvements in the hope of increasing the value of their property, if the work was done badly, it could actually reduce a home's sale price by as much as 5%.
John O'Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: "With house prices falling or stagnating in some parts of the UK, it's understandable that many homeowners should try to bump up the value of their properties through DIY home improvements.
"But although nine out of 10 people in our survey recognised that jobs like gas work should only be left to the professionals, nearly 500,000 Brits are still prepared to give it a go.
"Not only could bungling these jobs be dangerous, and costly to put right, but if they caused a serious problem with the property it could invalidate the home insurance cover."
Even if the work is done well, homeowners are likely to be disappointed with the impact it has on the price of their property.
A fifth of people thought redecorating would add most value to their home, followed by 14% who though refurbishing the kitchen would, while 12% thought improving the garden would have the most impact on their asking price and 6% rated replacing the bathroom.
But seven out of 10 estate agents said redecorating a home would make no difference to the asking price of a property, while 64% felt the same way about landscaping the garden. One in five estate agents also thought putting in a new kitchen would have little impact on the value of a home.