Home improvement plans increase, according to reasearch

Almost half of UK homeowners (45%) are planning home improvements within the next two years according to new research by Häfele UK. Interior decorating (29%), a new kitchen (23%) and bathroom renovations (21.4%) were the top choices for those planning home improvement works, with new flooring (21%) and new doors (15%) also making the top five. Other planned home improvements include external works like  roofing, gutters and external paintwork (14%), new windows (13%), adding or upgrading a downstairs toilet (10%), fitting a new boiler (10%) or new lighting (9%).

One in ten respondents said the cost and difficulty of buying and selling will see them actively put off plans to move in favour of home improvements and over a third (36%) of all respondents aren’t considering a move but have plans to upgrade their home.

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The initial findings released as part of the Functional Spaces: Homes for Living research suggest that despite a challenging start to the year for many business in the home improvements sector, factors such as a reduction in energy pricing may be allowing homeowners to invest in their homes once again.

“During Covid lockdowns, there was a huge spike in home improvement projects of all scales and sizes, but more recent economic circumstances have put many plans on hold,” said Häfele UK head of marketing Natalie Davenport. “In our survey of 2,000 UK homeowners, however, there are indications that half of households plan to spend on their current property in the coming years. “The kitchen is a particular area that homeowners are looking to improve, especially as our research found that one in ten people do not like their current kitchen,” she comtinued.

This 2023 Functional Spaces: Homes for Living research builds on a similar study conducted in 2022 by the manufacturer and distributor of furniture fittings, accessories, hardware and ironmongery, that explored the impact of kitchen design on wellbeing and mental health.

This year’s survey revealed that 81% of homeowners feel they would have an improved quality of life if the biggest issues in their kitchen were resolved. Not enough storage was the most common factor, chosen by 28% of those surveyed, with kitchens being ‘too small’ for a quarter of respondents. Cluttered worktops (19%), damaged and tired kitchen cabinets (17%) and inaccessible cupboards and shelving (15%) were also frequent problems.

Examining the priorities for those planning a future kitchen upgrade, the top four comprise quality and how long it will last (19%); budget and overall cost (18%); function and usability (14%); and style and how it looks (11%). Almost a quarter of respondents (24%) said they would shop around to get the best functionality for their budget – up 3% versus 2022.

Davenport added: “The importance homeowners place on their kitchen remains strong and consumers are increasingly aware of the impact their home and its design and function have on their daily lives.

“Our upcoming report sharing more of the findings will outline a multitude of insights that will help those involved in all aspects of home design to create better spaces for the consumer, as well as understand their new priorities and drivers when it comes to purchasing and decision making.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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