Property essentials – or property faux pas

men working on house roofAs chartered surveyors and property experts, our independent Chartered Surveyors know a thing or two about property renovation and expansion and their expertise in these fields come to good use in their work. Our surveyors cover the length and breadth of the UK, and have a unique insight into property demands across England and Wales. In this article, we reveal their top property ‘must haves’ and property ‘turn-offs’.

Barclays has revealed in a recent survey that most of us now put down roots for nearly two decades in the same house before moving – choosing to renovate, extend or redecorate rather than move.

People choosing to move home less frequently, causes stagnation of the property market.

The clear focus for property in the UK is place and aesthetics. These are the reasons that people update their homes – they already own it, so it’s cheaper. Clever improvement is beneficial because it’s often cheaper to build than to move house.

The Barclays survey confirms this, revealing that 25% of people carry out home improvements in order to add value.

Bi-fold doors / oversized windows

Bi-fold doors have become a highly desirable home improvement in the last decade, and continue to be one of the more popular choices for the rear of the home rather than patio or French doors. Improvements in thermal efficiency mean homeowners now have the ability to bring in more natural light and connect the home with the outside space, without losing energy efficiency.

Larders and pantries

Surprisingly, one of the top trends is a walk in pantry or larder space, possibly due to people wanting to budget or be more self-sufficient.  Larders and pantries join sustainability and bi-fold doors at the top of the list for property must-haves in Britain.

Walk-in wardrobes

A well-designed walk-in wardrobe provides the optimum use of the available space. Planned carefully, it can offer a functional and orderly method of bringing order to your clobber.


Sustainability doesn’t just mean your standard solar panels or growing your own produce, it also means making sure your home is energy efficient. If you think your home is getting cold too quickly without the heating switched on or that you can feel a draft in certain areas of the house, identify the area from which heat might be escaping.

Energy efficiency

Energy usage can be reduced by installing smart meters and improving boiler insulation to boost efficiency. One of the most common places for heat loss in a bathroom is the hole through which the plumbing is installed.

And the main property faux pas?

As much as there are property ‘must haves’, there are always plenty of property ‘no-no’s’! One of the worst faux pas is woodchip wallpaper and approximately 60% of people in Britain hate the now outdated style. Other contenders for the least desirable features of a property are: bad DIY, mirrored ceilings, carpeted bathrooms, ugly/battered blinds, fake beams, artex ceilings and minuscule bedrooms.

Think twice if you’re thinking of trying your hand at your own DIY in a bid to change some of these faux pas, and always ensure that any work done is completed to a high standard. Those DIY mishaps will not be overlooked by potential buyers, who will be busy calculating how much it might cost to fix, but it will also make them wonder whether anything else isn’t quite as it should be!

Remember that not all DIY disasters or property faux pas are easy to detect by eye. Always ask an Independent Chartered Surveyor to carry out a building or home survey on your prospective property – it could save you thousands of pounds.

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