Are Homeowners Spending More on Home Improvement This Year?

There is little doubt that millions of homeowners are investing in improving their properties this year!

There are countless ways to enhance your quality of living and make the most of the space you have to hand.

Whether that’s renovating a garden, building a beautiful extension, or creating your private gym or office space, transforming our properties is a notable trend.

The Surrey Building Projects team explores how much more we’re spending on home improvements in 2021 – and why!


2021: The Year of the Property Glow-Up

First, we’ll look at how much the average home improvement project costs and what sort of growth we’ve seen over the last few months.

  • 54% of people felt inspired to work on their homes during the pandemic.
  • The average household has spent around £4,000 on their homes in lockdown.
  • Around a third of people working on their properties have included a garden project.
  • Over the last year, UK home improvement spending has reached £55 billion.
  • Home improvement investments are up 12% in average expenditure per household.

It’s clear that home improvements have soared – more people are prioritising improvements, and we’re spending more per household.

Now let’s try and deep dive into the reasons behind this extraordinary leap in spending and why making our homes a castle is a focus for over half of all homeowners.

new decking

The Pandemic Renovation Trend

Behind all of these figures sits the glooming spectre of the pandemic.

This event has been a primary reason we’ve all spent so much time at home, driving us to reflect on the quality of our homes and imagine our ideal properties.

Reasons for home improvement investments during lockdown include:

  • Spending more time at home and wanting the property to feel more comfortable.
  • Enhancing property appearance to increase the saleable value.
  • Having disposable income due to lack of spending during lockdown restrictions.
  • Prioritising home comforts with the prospect of long-term travel limitations.

About 63% of people working on their properties have primarily done so because they want their living spaces to feel more inviting.

That could be finishing off odd DIY jobs, giving tired walls a lick of paint, or a major construction task to build an extension for a new home office or finally have the time to start work on a garden overhaul.

It’s also worth mentioning that interest rates have hit record lows, pretty much across the globe!

The impact is that remortgage rates are lower, and it’s now more affordable for many homeowners to finance an extensive conversion than would have been before.

garden office

Dream Property Renovation Ideas

While it’s evident that home improvement is becoming a national pastime, we thought it would be interesting to evaluate what sorts of projects are the pick of the bunch!

Some of the significant changes are obvious. A home office is now becoming a vital requirement for professionals around the UK who are looking at a long-term shift in the remote working climate.

Home gyms are also a big trend, with sports facilities closed for months on end and people seeking alternative ways to stay fit and well, without needing to venture outside!

Other projects that are growing in popularity include:

  • Garden renovations – entertaining spaces, outdoor dining and kids play areas are all attractive options to enhance the condition of your garden.
  • Home bars and log cabins – from stylish home bars in contemporary kitchens to garden tiki bars and casual BBQ drinks counters.
  • Green home improvements – upgrading glazing, installing efficient insulation, and swapping old boilers for eco-friendly and lower-cost alternatives.

These projects reflect a subtle change in the way homeowners regard their properties.

Whereas a fire pit, elegant patio, or designated home office may have once been a novelty, they are now becoming an everyday part of life, essential for families to live well.

Perhaps it’s because, when playgrounds, workplaces, hospitality businesses and gyms shut, the national conscience switched into self-reliance mode, and we’re all striving to have everything we need under one roof!

Adding Value Through Home Improvements

One of the critical factors in any home improvement project is cost.

We all have a budget to stick to, but it’s equally essential that a renovation or conversion adds value to the property – in the saleable price, as well as living standards.

The UK property market has seesawed over the last year and is currently on a continual upward trajectory. Experts predict this may start to level out when stamp duty holidays end, but there are no drops forecast, as demand for homes in prime locations remains strong.

Therefore, adding value is crucial, not only to ensure your home is appreciating but that you have a great chance of selling up and moving somewhere bigger if your needs change.

Around 27% of people invested in home improvements in the last year principally to add value!

Some of the best home improvement projects to increase the market value of your home include:

  • Constructing an area of difference or wellbeing, such as a bar area, home office, garden studio or leisure space that stands apart from other similar properties on the market. A home office is likely to cost from £6,000 according to
  • Addressing any structural issues, such as a leaky roof, broken roof riles, bowing walls or rising damp.
  • Upgrading heating systems to modern installations that are energy efficient and cheap to run.
  • Installing Bifold doors to blend indoor and outdoor spaces and improve the natural light circulating throughout your home.
  • Loft conversions, with the potential for a whole additional floor of space – ideal for further bedrooms, a home office, or a recreational area.
  • Solar panels, providing cheap solar energy as well as improving the eco-friendly credentials of your property.

If you’re thinking about remodelling, the top tasks that add real value are in your kitchen and bathroom.

Even simple jobs such as updating cabinet doors or replacing old suites with new fittings can make a big difference to the appeal of your property and what a buyer might be willing to pay!

The key is always to ensure any home improvement projects are of excellent quality – nail the details with exceptional finishes, and you’re sure to see your investment in your home provide great returns.