Image credit: David Giles Credit: David Giles

The pointless home improvements that WON’T add value – so should you even bother?

If you're looking to add value, you can forget these major projects

Whether you’re looking to sell your home, or want to add value for the future, you’ve probably considered some major improvements. Perhaps you’ve looked at increasing your property’s energy efficiency, or adding a new kitchen or bathroom. Or maybe you want to go big and add an extension.

The question is, will taking on potentially disruptive and expensive work actually be worth it? Will your home improvements have a big effect on the value of your house?

On the other hand… How to add value to your home

We had a chat with the lovely people at GoCompare, who have just come up with a new property investment calculator. You can use it to see whether your planned improvements will have the desired effect on your home’s value. but as a heads up, these are the projects with the biggest potential losses.

5. Building an extension

The-home-improvements-that-won't-add-value-extension

Potential loss: £18,000

A popular project, but you may be surprised to learn it’s often a loss-making one. ‘Most buyers prefer to pay for the opportunity to be able to add an attic conversion, kitchen extension or convert a basement,’ says GoCompare’s Henry Pryor.

‘Getting planning permission to do the work is frequently the best investment you can make. That leaves the actual choice of layout, decoration and equipment to the next owner.’

4. Adding home cinema

The-home-improvements-that-won't-add-value-home-cinema

Potential loss: £25,500

Even the most avid box set fans should think twice about this one. Installations can be pricey, especially if you want a state-of-the-art projector, Dolby surround sound system and plush seating. And as you can see, you’re likely to end up way out of pocket.

3. Putting a tennis court in the back garden

Potential loss: £30,000

This is a project you should only consider if you are planning to live in the property for a good long time. And have recently given birth to the next Andy Murray. Don’t expect it to be something buyers will pay a premium for.

2. Splashing out on a swimming pool

The-home-improvements-that-won't-add-value-swimming-pool

Image credit: Adrian Briscoe

Potential loss: £33,000

We were surprised at how high this came on the list – especially given the recent pool float explosion! Then again, the British climate doesn’t really serve a swimming pool well.

Love them! Sun’s out, pool floats out! Aldi are keeping summer dreams afloat

1. Installing a wine cellar

The-home-improvements-that-won't-add-value-wine-cellar

Image credit: Tim Young

Potential loss: £46,075

Digging out your basement – or assigning a room – to create storage for your finest vintages is not the way to go if you’re looking to add value.

So what improvements will pay off? ‘Improving the green credentials of a house usually pays,’ says Henry. ‘A new boiler, insulation or energy saving measure along with security improvements will usually pay off. But some additions like solar panels will be hard to get a payback on immediately.’

Related: Estate agents reveal the best ways to add value to your kitchen NOW!

‘My advice is usually “spend money on the things that you want and leave other improvements to the next person who may not share your taste”.’

‘The best investment they can make is to buy a bucket, sponge and some cleaning materials. Unless you really know the market and what people really want, you’re better off making clear the potential in your property and letting their imagination do the rest. A clean, tidy property will always command more than a scruffy home that looks like a skip!’

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