VAT-free home improvements

VAT on new builds is 0%. VAT on home improvements is levied at a standard rate of 20%. Not fair? We don’t think so. But did you know that in some cases, home improvement products and services can be completely VAT exempt or qualify for a reduced rate of VAT? But which products and services qualify for what rate?

Which home improvements are VAT-free?

The following home improvements can be completed without installers having to charge VAT prices on their services:

  • Construction of a new house or flat – New build properties qualify for a complete exemption from VAT, which is good news for people wanting to build their own dream home.

  • Supplying or installing goods for a disabled person in their home – If you’re supplying or installing particular products for a disabled person you may qualify for a complete VAT exemption.

  • Making alterations to suit a disabled person – Likewise, if you’re making alterations to a property to make it easier to use for a disabled person, such as installing bath rails, you may be able to qualify for VAT exemption.

  • Happy homeowners: abolish VAT on home improvements

    VAT-reduced home improvements

    The following home improvements qualify for a reduced rate of VAT. This is generally charged around the 5% mark. For more detailed information, we recommend you consult the HMRC website.

    • Converting a residential building into a different residential use – If you’re converting a residential building into a building used for a different residential use, such as knocking down two terraced houses into one, you may qualify for a reduced VAT rate.

    • Converting a building into a house or flat – Converting a non-residential building into a residential property can also qualify for the reduced VAT rate of 5%.

    • Renovating or altering an empty house or flat – Renovating or altering an empty property can also help you to qualify for a 5% reduction in VAT.

    • Supplying and installing certain energy saving materials and equipment – If you’re installing certain energy-saving materials into a property in order to improve its energy efficiency, you may qualify for a reduced VAT rate. The specific products and services that qualify for a reduced VAT rate are:

      • Central heating and hot water system controls
      • Draught stripping
      • Insulation
      • Solar panels
      • Wind turbines
      • Water turbines
      • Ground-source heat pumps
      • Air-source heat pumps
      • Micro combined heat and power units
      • Wood-fuelled boilers

      Unfortunately, double, triple and secondary glazing are not included in this category, and so do not qualify for a reduced rate of VAT.

      The CPA: committed to abolishing VAT on home improvements

      The Consumer Protection Association is committed to abolishing VAT charges on home improvement products and services. Join the fight by signing up here.