When it comes to homes, Britons are always looking for improvements to add value to their properties. However, some often overlook how much these changes could cost – or worse, if they might leave a dent in the asking price of a house. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Simon Boden, property sales expert from the online estate agent House Sales Direct, has looked into home improvement projects which could “significantly increase your spending” but not your house’s market value and should therefore be “avoided at all costs”.

1. Expensive room renovations

While upgrading a home prior to selling is a great idea and a smart way to boost a house’s market value, households always need to be mindful of how much their return on investment will be.

The expert cautioned: “You don’t want to spend a significant amount of money on a brand-new kitchen, only to get a three percent increase to your value.

“An unwritten rule for house renovations before putting your property on the market is to invest no less than five percent of the overall house value and no more than 15 percent.

“That way you will ensure that any improvements you work on are not going to be greatly regretted afterwards.”

Four ‘very costly' home improvements to ‘avoid' or risk a ‘significant loss'

Professional landscaped garden, renovated kitchen

Four ‘very costly' home improvements to ‘avoid' or risk a ‘significant loss'

Kitchen in new build luxury house

2. Professional landscaped garden

In recent years the outside of a house has become equally important as the inside so many people rush into paying a professional to landscape their garden in attempts to boost market value for their home.

However, Simon warned that this can be “very costly and can’t be justified” having in mind that a professional landscape comes to around £3,000 while it will most likely give you less than £2,000 in return.

It’s true that a lot of potential buyers now look into the garden and whether they see themselves spending time there, but the expert suggested that households make cheaper improvements.

He said: “You could do some small upgrades, trimming, planting and general maintenance to it without breaking the bank and it will give you similar results if not even better than hiring a professional for the job.”

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3. Solar panels

With all eyes on energy bills right now, households might be tempted by the idea of getting solar panels fitted to their home.

However, these panels do not come cheap, requiring thousands to install and households will not see a justifiable return.

Simon said: “There is a current trend in many sectors including the housing one which includes a shift towards more sustainable living.

“While that is something buyers are attracted to these days, the rule of five to 15 percent still stands and the cost of installing solar panels to your house is too high and you won’t be able to break even. In fact, you will incur a significant loss because of it.”

Four ‘very costly' home improvements to ‘avoid' or risk a ‘significant loss'

Technicians fitting solar photo voltaic panels to a house roof in Ambleside, Cumbria, UK.

4. Combining rooms

It might seem like a brilliant idea to knock down some walls in order to create a more spacious room if you are a single couple or if you simply need a bigger space.

However, when the time comes for selling your house, “you might come to regret this”, warned the property pro.

He said: “Not everyone will find this idea as brilliant as you and the first example we could think of is a family with children.

“A lot of people prefer having separate rooms which give them privacy. For example, people have mixed feelings towards open-plan living rooms and kitchen layouts which ultimately will only attract half of those potential buyers you may have on your house.”

Four ‘very costly' home improvements to ‘avoid' or risk a ‘significant loss'

Knocked down walls in home

“That is why any bold moves such as knocking down walls are not an ideal project you should take on.”

This is also something to avoid when it comes to knocking down walls to create bigger bedrooms.

Combining two small bedrooms to create one big bedroom has its appeal when you’re living there yourself, but houses are largely valued on the number of bedrooms, so Britons would essentially be downgrading the property.

Listing prices are calculated based on comparisons to similar homes selling in the same market and number of bedrooms is a key factor in this.

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