Think Twice Before Carrying out DIY on Your Home

Many people choose to take on various small renovation jobs in order to save money and they hope, add a little value to their property. However, recent reports and warnings by a home insurer, show that actually carrying out DIY work on your property can reduce the value if you are not careful.

In a worrying survey by a leading home insurance firm, it was found that about 27% of home owners asked had carried out electrical work on their homes without any professional advice or help, another 22% had tackled plumbing work and 9% had done structural changes such as removing walls. It was also found that 6% had carried out major building work themselves like converting loft space to livable rooms and 3% had worryingly tried to fix very dangerous jobs like gas repairs. Most people surveyed recognized that work involving gas and electrical connections should only be carried out by professionals with appropriate qualifications, yet close to half a million people were apparently still willing to give these dangerous jobs a go to save a bit of money.

Many works need to be signed off by gas inspectors or qualified electricians, whilst structural work can require building permits or at least have to abide by strict building regulations. If work goes wrong or is done badly or not to the specified legal requirements, then the property price could actually be reduced by 5% or more.

Not only this but there are also health consequences if gas appliances are not properly connected or electrical connections faulty and of course carrying out any such repairs or so called improvements without the help of a qualified professional could invalidate your home insurance. Then when something inevitably goes wrong you would not be covered for any damage caused.

These days, with stagnant house prices and buyers difficult to find, home-owners are being bombarded with TV programs advising them to carry out home improvements to add value prior to selling. For example converting attic space to an additional bedroom, adding a conservatory or revamping kitchens and bathrooms.

Many people are under the impression that carrying out work will add value to their property, when in fact this is often not the case. Around 20% of people thought that if they gave their rooms a lick of fresh paint it would add value, or replaced an old worn outdated kitchen or bathroom it would increase the asking price. However 7 out of 10 estate agents asked said these types of improvements often did little to increase the overall value of the house. The most likely option for increasing the value of a property is carrying out structural works, and if done properly such as a good loft conversion or conservatory, this could add a little value to the house. But home owners could end up paying out more than the added value to make the changes.