House upgrades that don't add value

Can't decide what to do with your spare cash? Many people will look to home improvements as a way of investing for the future. It may not sound sensible but some alterations can actually lower the value of your property rather than increase it. So, if you are thinking of making changes what should you avoid?

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Installing cheap wooden floors, open fireplaces or decking are not always cost effective ways of adding value to your home. Changing a garage into another room like a gym can be a mistake. Garages are an asset for those who want a secure place to leave their car, as well as the chance to cut their motor insurance.

Adding 'mock Tudor features' to a modern property is a mistake, as is making contemporary changes to a period home which rarely improves the value.

A property is limited by its location so don't waste too much money improving a good property in a poor location. All properties have an upper limit no matter how much you spend.

A safer bet to improving your home is to build a conservatory, a loft conversion, new kitchen, double-glazing or create off-road parking. Adding central heating is always a winner. Some of these improvements may add as much as eight per cent on your house price.

Make sure you go for high end finishes when making these types of improvements, a cheap kitchen or bathroom suite could actually reduce your home's value by five per cent.

If you are thinking of double-glazing you should be cautious when it comes to sash windows, replacing them can actually dent the value of your home.

Too many people attempt electrical, structural or even gas work themselves. This is dangerous and is likely to end up costing you financially. The best improvements are carried out by professionals and those that give most value to your property are structural changes.