02 August 2021

The real value of home improvements and renovations

7 min read

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Adding a conservatory, upgrading your kitchen, or widening your bathroom space: these are just a few of the many home improvements you’ll be considering at some stage in your life. But why renovate in the first place?

So, what is it that influences us the most? Our friends beginning major changes on their home, or celebrity trends? We surveyed UK homeowners to find out exactly that. Discover the fascinating facts we found out, here.

Top home improvements. This image is an infographic and has alternative text available if you are using a screen reader.

The improvements Brits are making to their homes

We asked home-owners what improvements they made to their houses within the first two years of living there. Below you can see the percentage of owners who made each separate improvement within 24 months.

  • Modern kitchen: 48%
  • Modern bathroom: 39%
  • Landscaped garden: 27%
  • Modern doors: 24%
  • New boiler/heating system: 23%
  • Modern windows: 21%
  • Decking: 15%
  • Home office: 15%
  • Loft conversion: 14%
  • Conservatory: 14%

What are the benefits of improving your home?

Upgrading your living room, extending your kitchen, or adding a shiny new en-suite bathroom to your house may be a personal preference. But these home improvements may also bring many benefits, such as raising the price of your property. They are an investment in more ways than one.

The house price increase

Introducing new features, facilities and décor to your home may increase the price of your house. Being able to simply move into a property without having to upgrade these elements is something a lot of buyers now look for in their homes. After all, an easy move is desirable to most.

Based on the homeowners we surveyed in the UK, going above the asking price for a property with modern furnishings in specific rooms is something the respondents would be prepared to pay more for. Respondents stated they would be prepared to pay more for modern furnishings in specific rooms of the house.

Our survey data revealed that a modern kitchen added on average £11,159.95 to the property’s overall value. And the same can be said for houses containing a modern bathroom, with an average value of £10,915.12 being added to homes with new facilities.

So, adding a new kitchen or bathroom could add value to your home in 2021.

The importance of living space for home improvements

Homeowners may be perfectly satisfied with the size of their home, but they’re very aware that potential buyers may not be – hence the urge to renovate. Whether someone looking for a new property has a large family, works from home, or simply craves enough space to move around in, comfortable, spacious properties have a high appeal for a wide range of buyers.

When respondents were asked to rate on a scale of one to 10 the different ways they were influenced to upgrade their surroundings, theirs or their partner’s need for space scored seventh.

Space for children and pets, as well as extra room for working from home, didn’t come too far behind. Not to mention, open plan spaces could potentially raise the price of your property by £6,915.00. Therefore, this craving for additional space could raise the stakes when you come to sell it.  

The real reasons we renovate our homes

Home improvements can be pricey, but we see the value in them as soon as we set our eyes on our next project. Although, where does the original plan hatch from? Are we aware of the factors that influence us as much as we think?

Our data revealed that seeing other people’s home renovations encourages us to start our own…

the real reasons we renovate. This image is an infographic and has alternative text available if you are using a screen reader.

The real reasons we renovate

We asked people on a sliding scale of 1-10, how influenced they felt to renovate their homes based on the above factors (ten being very influenced, and one being not influenced at all).

  • 7.0: The need for more space for myself or partner.
  • 6.6: Selling the property.
  • 6.3: The need for space for kids or pets.
  • 6.3: A need for more space to work from home.
  • 6.2: A desire to hold more social events in the home.
  • 6.0: Seeing upgrades to a family member’s property.
  • 5.8: Seeing upgrades to a neighbours’ property.
  • 5.3: Images of celebrity homes online.

Nosy neighbours copy everything we do

Neighbour envy is one of the key reasons why homeowners decide to spruce up their homes.

People are more influenced by their next-door neighbour’s new kitchen than they are by celebrity homes they’ve seen online.

This proves that keeping up appearances is more important (and noticeable) than you may think.

The value of home improvements. This image is an infographic and has alternative text available if you are using a screen reader.

The value of home improvements

We asked homeowners in the UK how much above the asking price they would go if a house had the following features. To determine the below figures, we first sourced average UK house price, £27,615, and then calculated the asking price based on the responses given as part of the survey.

  • Modern kitchen: £11,159
  • Modern bathroom: £10,915
  • Loft conversion: £10,845
  • Spare bedroom: £10,744
  • New boiler/heating system: £9,647
  • Modern windows: £9,597
  • Garage conversion: £9,503
  • Landscaped garden: £9,502
  • Conservatory: £9,390
  • Modern doors: £8,601
  • Open plan spaces: £8,481
  • Home office: £8,380
  • Garden office: £7,903
  • Decking: £7,244

Location and how home renovation influences vary

Our survey showed that Londoners wanted to follow their neighbours with home improvements the most, followed by Manchester and Birmingham residents. The same applies to other homeowners across the UK.

From Southampton and Cardiff to Belfast, people are more inclined to renovate after seeing work being done on a neighbour’s property than seeing images of celebrity homes.

Data proves that family ties encourage home improvements

When we visit a family member’s home, we take a real interest in little upgrades they make each time, from a fresh lick of paint on the walls to a new bookshelf added to the back of the living room. In fact, we become very easily influenced by what members of our family are doing to improve their property. In Birmingham, for instance, residents are more likely to begin renovating their house after seeing their sister’s new home plans over their neighbours.

Obviously, seeing a plan in action from our nearest and dearest actively encourages us to do the same. A fund could come from releasing value from your home, and you could use this money to start renovating. Then, show off your new upgrades to your family when you next invite them over.

The final verdict on home improvements

Clearly, what other homeowners are doing to their properties (and what they’re spending their money on) has a domino effect across the whole of the UK.

People are even more influenced than they think they are. Without considering outside influences, and the potential hike in price that renovations bring to your home, you would likely just keep your home as it is for as long as possible. This proves that as homeowners, our priorities change as soon as other people’s do, and that’s the real reason we’re quick to renovate.