HOME owners across the UK have spent more than £40 billion on home improvements in the past five years, says the industry body for estate agents.

Redecorating, garden landscaping, new flooring and refreshing the bathroom are the most popular upgrades, according to NAEA Propertymark, with householders spending an average £1,875 each.

One in ten home owners said they improved their properties because the cost of moving was too high. Projects do not necessarily come in cheap, though, with an average price tag of £5,016 for a new kitchen; a conservatory £4,310; and a loft or cellar conversion £3,244.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “Your house will almost certainly be more attractive to buyers with some general sprucing up and cleaning, and improvements that create a sense of space, privacy and give a great first impression will increase saleability.

"If you’re making improvements to add value to your home, it’s important to not over-personalise the décor so it appeals to future buyers, and will allow them to adapt the property to fit their own needs."

The industry body's top ten tips to increase your home's value are:

1. Give your house a fresh lick of paint in modern colours.

2. Paint kitchen cupboards or replace handles or doors.

3. In the bathroom, replace taps and grouting, clean away limescale, and paint the walls a neutral shade.

4. An attractive and tidy garden that feels like space for relaxing and entertaining can add value, so trim borders, clear paths and cut back overgrowth.

5. Double glaze the windows.

6. Consider opening up your kitchen and dining room into one sociable living space.

7. Replace the front door or give it a new coat of paint.

8. A loft conversion can be expensive but probably gives back the best value for money, says NAEA Propertymark. Remember to seek planning consent.

9. Fit your home with energy-efficient appliances, to help knock the costs of bills.

10. Lastly, add off-street parking by creating a driveway.

- For more on the survey, visit www.opinium.co.uk