Build for world we live in

Minor property improvements 'can make a big difference'

Homeowners across the UK have been advised that taking a less-is-more approach to home improvements could see many people reaping significant benefits in the future.

Andrew Leech, director at the National Home Improvement Council, said people need to examine the likely returns they will receive on home improvements before embarking on projects this summer, as generating a healthy return should be a priority.

As such, he noted there are a number of areas where homeowners might like to focus this year, with roof spaces one place where people could carry out improvements for less than would ultimately be highly beneficial to the long-term soundness of their property.

Meanwhile, projects that boost energy efficiency should also be high on the agenda, as they will ensure people are able to make back their investment through lower bills in the future.

"Insulation is a major thing - cutting out all of the drafts and keeping yourself warm," Mr Leech commented. "Insulation is one of the most economical solutions to energy efficiency. It is low priced, very cost efficient and will have a couple of years' payback period."

He added that homeowners might also like to consider the fitting of a new bathroom or kitchen - as this can help to reduce running costs - but these types of project can be expensive and therefore people looking for a fast payback on their outlay might want to look at other areas of the home.

According to Derrick Wilkinson, director of renewable energy solutions provider Gr33n, there are numerous new green technologies that could have a significant benefit for UK property owners if they choose to invest in them.

He highlighted underfloor heating and ground and air source heat pumps as two technologies that offer excellent returns for UK homeowners.

"Newer builds are obviously a lot easier to size for, but it's all based on heat loss rather than sizes of properties," Mr Wilkinson concluded. 

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