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For more information on pricing up jobs around
the house there are a couple of specialized publications available.
“The Property Makeover Price Guide” is a RICS publication and
looks at specific types of work in different areas of the country.
It is available from at £13.49.
The other useful guide to this subject is Sarah Beeny’s “Price the Job”,
which covers every eventuality around the home - Amazon price £5.99.
If you wish to find yourself a reputable builder and you haven’t got any
recommendations to go on, the FMB website
( has a “find a builder” service.





The Cost of Home Improvements


(Image courtesy of


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   17% rise

Realign PVCu gutters
Was £340 - £1,260
Now £430 - £1,590  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 16% rise

Replacing cracked brickwork using scaffolding (2m length of crack at a high level)
Was £205 - £330
Now £240 - £380  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   21% rise

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

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