Did you know?
The blocks we use to build your home are the most energy efficient available and 80% of material within the blocks is recycled material - this saves heat loss from our homes and thus reduces CO2 emissions.
But if you are hoping to sell your home anytime soon you should know that it takes just 10 seconds for buyers to decide whether they like the look of a property from the outside. And if they don't like it, four in 10 won't bother going inside.
You can have the classiest kitchen and the most beautiful bathroom but if the outside of your home lacks kerb appeal nearly half of buyers would reduce their offer by 20 per cent off the asking price.
And with the UK's average house price now at £288,000 that could mean about £57,600 down the drain. In London that sum could rise to around £107,400. The figures come from Barclays Mortgages and reveal that the state of a front garden is the single most important aspect, apart from the price, of achieving a sale.
According to Barclays Mortgages 69 per cent of potential buyers think a well-kept front garden is the top contender for kerb appeal while 58 per cent are discouraged by untidiness outside the property.
Not surprisingly even more, 69 per cent, are put off by evidence of vermin control. While a well-manicured garden comes top of the five most desirable kerb appeal features, well-kept neighbouring gardens are nearly as important for 51 per cent.
According to the survey other kerb appeal positives are double glazing and having a parking space, although you should think carefully before you convert a small front garden into drive.
But it's not difficult to smarten up your act: just put up a hanging basket or a few large pots of plants and make sure the lawn is neatly mown and you're halfway there, although fake grass is a total turn-off.
Brick-built homes are favoured by 74 per cent with concrete not liked by 64 per cent, although there's not much you can do about changing that in a hurry.
But if your house is rendered get the paint brushes out and give it a new coat of specialist paint, making sure you avoid bright colours as 62 per cent of people say brightly coloured rendering is the biggest turn-off.
And when it comes to front doors stick to a classic black, white finish or fashionable gunmetal greys and sage greens. Garish colours such as orange, pink and purple were the least favourite according to the poll of 2,000 homeowners by One Poll last month.
Homes Under The Hammer television presenter Lucy Alexander says: "When searching for a property the first thing you see is the front garden and any outside space. In such a competitive market achieving the best possible kerb appeal will not only be pleasing to the eye but also to the bank balance.
"It's great to find out that keeping the garden well maintained and a fresh coat of paint on the door can add value, with both easy to achieve and at minimum cost.
"Making every effort on the outside will certainly help when showing interested buyers around inside as those all-important first impressions will have been positive."