Brits have spent more than £40 billion updating their houses since 2013. Here are the projects they focused on, plus top tips to update – and add value – to your home.

Homeowners across the UK have splurged £41bn sprucing up their properties over the last five years – an average of £1,875 each – according to a survey for estate agent association NAEA Propertymark. 

Nearly three in four (73%) homeowners have updated their home since 2013, with one in ten admitting they have done so because of the high cost of moving.

Those surveyed were keen to carry out more work to transform homes in the future, with 28% wanting to add a new kitchen, while 6% intend installing home gyms and cinemas. Just 4% hope to add a swimming pool.

The association's research revealed the top 10 projects in the UK:

Most popular home improvements for homeowners Percentage of homeowners Average spent per improvement
Redecorate 73% £889
Garden landscaping 54% £794
New flooring 39% £1,002
New bathroom 31% £2,719
New doors (internal and external)  28%  £906 
New kitchen  27% £5,016 
New windows 25%  £2,543
Decking/patio alterations  18%  £1,001
Driveway/parking space 15%  £1,873 
Building a conservatory 11% £4,310

NAEA Propertymark's top 10 improvement tips, to increase the value of your home, are:

1. Redecorate 

Why? Giving your home a lick of paint and doing some general maintenance can be done at a very low cost. Fresh paint in modern colours goes a long way to give your home a new lease of life.Above: A range of colours brings this mews-style home to life in Kew, Surrey. The three-bedroom property is available via Zoopla for £850,000

2. Kitchen makeover

Why? Kitchens are usually the focus of a house for many buyers. Painting units or replacing cupboard handles or doors are a cheaper way of refreshing a kitchen.Above: Although built in 1895, this four-bedroom sandstone property, for sale for £295,000 in Shotts, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, has been given a modern twist, including a revamped kitchen with vaulted ceiling

3. Adding/updating a bathroom

Why? A bathroom which looks fresh and clean is always an appealing feature. Options include re-grouting, eliminating limescale and replacing taps. Walls can be painted a neutral shade, and ideally replace a shower curtain with a new one, or a simple glass screen.Above: Available for £139,000 in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, this three-bedroom property has been fully refurbished, and includes a stylish bathroom

4. Garden appeal

Why? An attractive, tidy and well-designed garden can add a great deal of value to a home. To help it feel like an extra space for entertaining and relaxing, it is essential to trim borders, clear pathways and prune any overgrown trees or bushes.Above: This refurbished three-bedroom detached bungalow, on the market for £230,000 in North Hykeham, Lincolnshire, benefits from new windows and doors and a new conservatory, which looks out on to an easy-care garden

5. Double glazed windows

Why? Noisy roads can impact the value of a property. Double glazing will keep the home warm, while diminishing traffic noise, even if a home is near a main road.

6. Opening up space

Why? Combining the kitchen and dining areas into one large room helps create a sociable space, for the family and visitors to enjoy. NAEA Propertymark warns, however, that some buyers still prefer a separate 'front room' that can be used for special occasions, or privacy for adults.Above: Extended and refurbished, this four-bedroom home in Ascot, Berkshire, now features an open plan kitchen/dining/family room. It’s priced at £600,000

7. Replace doors

Why? Put simply, first impressions count, and the front door of your home can tell potential buyers much about the remainder of the property. If you cannot afford to replace the front door, make sure it looks new by giving it a power wash, or a fresh coat of paint. 

8. Convert the loft

Why? Although a more expensive improvement to carry out, a loft conversion "probably gives the best value for money", says NAEA Propertymark. Expanding the house upwards offers homeowners an extra bedroom for growing families, or a space for extra storage. But remember to seek planning permission first.Above: A substantial loft extension has helped turn this semi-detached bungalow – for sale in Brighton for £600,000 – into a five-bedroom home

9. Be energy efficient

Why? Fitting your home with energy efficient appliances can add value to your home by promising to knock down the cost of bills.

Read the uSwitch 'Energy-saving Guide' for loads of useful tips

10. Create a driveway

Why? In some parts of the country, the ability to park vehicles close to your front door comes at a huge premium and, therefore, if you have space to include this practical feature, you are sure to increase value.

Above: Fully renovated and extended to the side and rear, this four-bedroom detached house is for sale in Salford, Manchester, for £380,000

Looking to make home improvements? Our partner, Money, compares credit cards with a long interest free period here.

 

What are your top home improvement tips? Tell us by posting a comment below...

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