What are the UK's most popular home improvements?
Most of us have a few ideas for alterations or improvements we’d like to make around the home, whether it’s something rather grand like a two-storey extension or something a little simpler like upgrading your windows to double-glazing.
But have you ever wondered what the most popular home improvements are nationwide? Whether us Brits favour certain improvements over others and how your desires fit with the rest of the country?
Well, earlier this year gocompare.com released a survey that revealed just that — What the most popular home improvements have been in the UK from 2011-2016. Check the list below, with a few details about the key ‘need to knows’ about each project.
10. Loft conversion
At Opun we love loft conversions, and it seems much of the rest of the UK does too. Whether you go for a dormer, gable-end or other type of conversion, they are a fantastic way to dramatically increase the floor-space of your home, as up to a third of your home’s area is contained within the loft! That’s why they’re considered by many to be the home improvement that offers the best return of investment.
Although it may sound like a big and disruptive project, we feel this is a bit of misconception. Check out here just how easy they can be.
9. Solar panel installation
Micro-generation is becoming an increasingly commonly sought after home improvement among both the environmentally conscious and the economically savvy. Solar panels can help reduce how much your home depends on the national grid for power, reducing the costs of your utility bills.
Moreover, if your mini-power plant is so efficient that you’re producing more energy than you’re consuming, you can even profit from it.
There are two types of solar panel. Photovoltaic, which is the type more common in the UK, that converts sunlight into electricity. Then there’s also solar thermal, which captures the sun’s rays in order to heat water or air in the home, reducing the amount of electricity or gas you’d use indirectly.
There are two things you must first assess before installing solar. Firstly, is your roof in tip top condition? You don’t want to have to remove the panels in a couple of years, after having installed them, because your roof needs to be repaired! It is best to get this done first if that is the case. The other thing is to evaluate whether your roof is out of the shade long enough each day in order to produce enough energy to ensure your savings will be greater than the initial installation cost.
8. Adding an extra bedroom
The benefits of adding an extra bedroom to the home are obvious, whether you’ve got a growing family and don’t want to uproot and move to a larger property, or you’d like a guest bedroom to host friends and family with.
No wonders then that adding a bedroom is also considered to be one of the top ways to boost a property’s market value. Now, perhaps the most obvious way to do this is by extending your home. But in some instances, particularly in properties which only have one or two bedrooms, turning a large room into two smaller rooms can also boost market value.
7. Knocking through rooms
Open plan living areas are a perennial favourite among architects or interior designers alike. By creating a feeling of ‘flow’ throughout the home, open plan areas feel both brighter and airier. They also allow your household to socialise easier — you can easily chat to the person cooking in the kitchen while you are unwinding on the sofa in lounge area. check our guide to open plan living here.
6. Adding an extension
Under the current remit of Permitted Development, many extensions added to homes, providing they fit certain criteria, can be carried out without the need to apply for Planning Permission.
One of the chief advantages of building an extension to your home, over say moving to a larger one, is that you can tailor exactly what the new space will be like, to fit it to your family’s desires perfectly. Click here to find out in more detail about Opun’s extension service.
5. Fixing up the garden
While we tend to focus on making improvements inside our home, many of us tend to overlook the garden. But, having a nice looking outside space is key to your home’s ‘curb appeal’. Therefore it should not be over looked.
Even, if you’re not fussed about increasing your home’s value, few things beat the simple joys of a hot summer’s day spent lazing in the back garden. Check out our suggestions for some creative ways you can get your outside area ready for the Summer, even if it feels a long time away!
4. Installing double glazing
There’s a whole range of reasons to install double glazing. It reduces noise pollution, makes your home feel warmer and can save you money on your bills. It’s such a popular home improvement that now most homes have at least a few double glazed windows.
If you haven’t upgraded your windows to double or even triple glazing yet, you may be concerned about the aesthetic considerations. Perhaps feeling that the white uPVC frames won’t fit with the period features of your home. But, this doesn't need to be a problem — timber and aluminium framed windows are also available in a wide array of styles and colours to fit with the stylings of older properties. It is sometimes even possible to fit the new double glazed panes into the old window frames.
3. Upgrading the boiler or central heating
Upgrading to a combi boiler, or ripping out old electric storage heating to replace it with modern central heating, is a fairly straight-forward project that can make your home kinder to the environment, warmer, and save you money in the long run. It’s no wonder then that this improvement ranks so highly on the list.
2. Adding a new bathroom
Anyone who’s ever lived in a busy house, where multiple individuals are all trying to get out of the door at the same time each morning, will tell you you can’t really have too many bathrooms in the home. So it’s an understandably popular improvement to make in the home, that can again boost its value.
Whether you add a romantic en-suite to the master bedroom, complete with ‘his and hers’ fittings, or you’re adding a convenient extra WC to the back of the home, installing new bathrooms is a relatively simple project that has a lot of benefits.
If you already have an ample number of bathrooms, you may be more interested in renovating your current facilities rather than adding any more. Whatever you decide to do, check out Opun Bathroom Service page here to find out just about everything you need to know about these projects.
1. Doing up the kitchen
For many homeowners the kitchen represents the ‘heart of the home’. It’s the natural hub and gathering point we’re all drawn to, not just where we cook, but where we socialise, entertain and carry out those little chores like paying the bills.
It’s no surprise then that this is the number one area we like to make home improvements to. Statistically it’s also the first place we’re likely to renovate when we move to a new property, in order to leave our own mark upon it.
The great thing about kitchen improvements is that there’s just so much choice, from materials and colours for the floors and counters, to the different brands of appliances available. Kitchen’s can be customised to no end, to create a space that is truly representative of you and your household. Find out more about upgrading your kitchen.