It seems that many property owners could be making sure their metal railings and other security features are in top condition, new research suggests.

Carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), the study revealed that homeowners are spending less time on the aesthetic qualities of their houses than the practical.

In fact, 26 per cent of respondents said they had spent money on desirable interior features, while 58 per cent splashed out on essential maintenance.

SPAB secretary Philip Venning commented: "After years when many homeowners seemed to value style over substance it is apparent that the 'bling' days of spending on highly visible home 'improvements' … are behind us."

He emphasised that good quality maintenance is essential to making sure the value of a property remains strong, which is especially important in the current financial climate.

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