The most profitable home improvements in the UK include installing a new boiler or central heating, energy saving, and home security, according to new research.

However, the cost of updating flooring, bathrooms, and kitchens may outweigh any added value this kind of improvements could have, says the study from GoCompare home insurance.

Redecorating, laying new flooring, or updating a bathroom may slightly increase the value of a property however, the costs of doing so generally outweigh any potential profit, it adds.

It points out that some 26% of home renovations are undertaken to add value to a property but many homeowners could be making a loss by opting for the wrong projects.

The firm has created what it calls a Property Investment Calculator which shows the home improvements which add value to a property and those which could end up leaving homeowners out of pocket.

The calculator gives homeowners an indication of average costs for renovations together with an estimate of the added value and potential profit from undertaking the work.

A new boiler, central heating, and double glazing all add 4% to the value of a home while knocking through rooms and installing a kitchen add 2% and a garden makeover, painting and decorating and a new bathroom add 1%. New flooring does not add or lose value while installing solar panels actually reduces the value by 2%.

The research also looked at the most popular home projects. On top was an interior decoration at 53%, a new kitchen at 42%, new flooring at 38%, a new bathroom at 36%, a new garden also at 36%, double glazing at 29%, and a new boiler or central heating at 28%.

‘Most people who are thinking of selling their home or looking to improve it to add value will consider the merits of a trip to the DIY store, some will even consider doing some building work in the hope of adding value but not all buyers will be prepared to pay for your idea of improvements or good taste,’ said Henry Pryor, a property buyer who worked on the research.

‘Some buyers would even prefer to be able to put their mark on a property and install the bathroom or kitchen of their choosing and may even pay for the chance to be able to do so. It’s therefore essential that you think carefully about why you are spending extra money and who will benefit. My advice is usually to spend money on the things that you want and leaves other improvements to the next person who may not share your taste,’ he explained.

‘Most buyers prefer to pay for the opportunity to be able to add an attic conversion, kitchen extension, or convert basement. Getting planning permission to do the work is frequently the best investment you can make leaving the actual choice of layout, decoration, and equipment to the next owner,’ he pointed out.

‘Improving the green credentials of a house usually pays, such as a new boiler, insulation or energy saving measures along with security improvements will usually pay off but some additions like solar panels will be hard to get a payback on immediately,’ he added.