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The Cost of Home Improvements 

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(Image courtesy of 4ecotips.com)

 

Improving our homes is something of a national pastime for Britons. Every year we spend millions of pounds making them bigger and better. According to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), planning was granted for 295,074 extensions, 43,761 self-build projects and 39,462 loft conversions in the UK last year. With house prices on the wane, it could make even more sense than ever to stay put and do up your existing property, rather than moving to a bigger one.

 

However, recent research by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggests that the cost of home improvements have gone up by 20%. The reasons for this dramatic increase are mainly down to increased labour costs and an increase in the price of raw materials. For example, labour costs have been kept down in the last few years because of the dramatic influx of skilled tradesmen from central and Eastern Europe. The tide is turning though; helped by the weak pound, these tradesmen are now returning home in ever-increasing numbers. Some estimates believe that half of the one million UK-based Poles have now returned home.

 

Below is a selection of the RICS guide to the average cost of some of the more common home improvements with the equivalent cost for 2006 and the percentage increase noted. Note that these figures will vary dramatically between different areas of the country and will depend on the quality of materials used.

 

Repairing windows in poor decorative order (both sides of an average window size from 600 x 900mm to 1500x1200mm)
Was £75-£280
Now £88 - £330 a 17% rise

Realign PVCu gutters
Was £340 - £1,260
Now £430 - £1,590 a 26% rise

Restoring a wall affected by damp penetrating through an external wall and plaster wall
Was £72 - £115  (area 1 to 5m2)
Now £83 - £135 a 16% rise 

Replacing cracked brickwork using scaffolding (2m length of crack at a high level)
Was £205 - £330
Now £240 - £380 a 16% rise

Resecure roof tiles/slates 
1 tile was £220 now £280
6 tiles was £245 now £310 up to 17% rise 

6X5 Loft Conversion with 2 Velux windows
Was from £14,000
Now from £17,000 a 21% rise 

Adding double glazing (PVCu sash window - approximate window size 600x900mm - 1200x1200mm)
Was £850 -£1,580
Now £1,040 - £1,930 a 22% rise

4X4 single story house extension with one window
Was £18,500 - £23,000
Now £22,500 - £28,000 a 22% rise


Basement conversions (Floor size 3x5m)
Was £8,000
Now £10,000 25% rise


Adding a 4x4 conservatory
Was £15,000 - £19,000
Now £18,500 - £23,000 22% rise