Brits Keen to Invest in Extensions

A large number of homeowners are hoping to invest in their properties in order to make their houses more valuable, claims a study.

According to a nationwide survey by, 61 per cent of UK homeowners said they will undertake home improvements in the next two years in a bid to offset the losses caused by the global economic downturn.

The research revealed that people are increasingly interested in investing in their homes as 87 per cent of homeowners believe that their property has recently lost up to 20 per cent of value in the recession.

Furthermore, 68 per cent of homeowners indicated a belief that home improvements offered a more reliable method of adding value to a property than leaving the value open to market forces alone.

Andrew Skipwith, chief executive office of, said that the results from the survey indicated the deep emotional relationship that British homeowners have with their properties.

"Not least because homeowner faith in bricks and mortar apparently remains largely unshaken despite the fact that most people have experienced a relatively significant short term loss in the value of their property as a result of the recession," he added.

The research also found that an increasing number of people were looking at investing in large house developments such as bespoke conservatories.

It suggests that home improvers are undertaking larger home improvement projects with the figures for windows and conservatory projects up 32 per cent when the figures from January 2010 were compared with the same period one year ago.

"Despite the clear downturn in the property market, we have seen a steady but marked increase in the number of home owners requesting professional assistance from tradesmen with home improvement projects," added Mr Skipworth.

There are often legal considerations that homeowners need to be aware of before they start work on large projects like bespoke conservatories and orangeries.

First and foremost, home owners will need to gain planning permission if the volume of the property is increased by as much as 15 per cent.

If planning permission is not granted then building work will have to cease and the conservatory may eventually have to be removed altogether.

The nationwide survey was commissioned for to understand homeowner attitudes towards investing in their property in the current financial climate.

Research by housing charity Shelter and the Royal Institute of British Architects revealed that installing bespoke conservatories was the second most popular improvement for homeowners.