With another full lockdown to start the year and a gradual easing of restrictions, 2021 has, to date, been anything but a normal year. As a nation we have not been idle, many have taken the opportunity to tackle home improvements that have been on the list for ages and in this article, we run through some of the most popular home improvements for 2021.
Creating More Space
One of the most popular home improvement trends so far for 2021 has been to create more space. The Home Owners Alliance reports that in the first quarter of the year home planning applications were up by 20% on previous years. These applications have been for extensions, loft and garage conversions, basement extensions and of course the new kid on the block, the “Shoffice.”
Keen to be Green
According to an extensive home improvement survey conducted by RatedPeople.com 57% of people stated they wanted to become more eco-friendly in 2021. They go on to say: “uPVC windows and doors, roof insulation and solar panel installation were amongst the top 15 eco jobs posted on Rated People.” During the first quarter the Government backed these good intentions with the Green Home Grant which accepted applications up to 31st March 2021. Whilst that ship has now sailed, there are still financial incentives to going green, albeit from a rather unlikely benefactor: Mortgage lenders are offering better rates and incentives for buyers of energy efficient homes. Find out more about Green Mortgages on Which.co.uk.
Rated People also unearthed (sorry) that 47% of UK residents are planning to improve their gardens this year. With plenty of jobs listed on their website for horticultural work, creating a vegetable patch topped the tables, as well as hard landscaping projects like patios. Outdoor entertainment is still topping the trends, with almost every website reporting huge increases in searches for decking, fire pits, hot tubs, outdoor kitchens, garden bars, summer houses and pizza ovens. It looks like we have fallen back in love with our outdoor spaces and are determined to make them over into a social paradise.
DIY and Decoration
In true British fashion, plenty of us made the most of the extra time at home, finally having the chance to get those DIY projects done, making good on the overdue home maintenance and we still had time to give our abodes a fresh lick of paint. In fact, we Brits spent so much money on DIY and decorating that B&Q reported pre-tax profits of £756m in the year to 31 March 2021, up 634% from £103m the previous year! Now that is a lot of paint!
And it is not just the DIYers who have been busy. We have been keeping our local tradespeople busy too! During 2020 Plumbers and Electricians were the most in demand trades, with 20% of people admitting they needed their services to fix DIY attempts gone wrong. Rated People predict that in 2021, 18% of people are planning to fit a new bathroom, that is a huge increase over the 12% compared to the previous year. 11% of all carpentry jobs is to build more storage and 4% of all bricklaying jobs posted to the site is for a pizza oven, but by far and away the most overworked tradespeople are the fencers! Fencing jobs posted on to the Rated People website has grown by 143%.
Although the lockdowns have been difficult for many people, the time has not been wasted and improving our homes, giving ourselves more space or simply making the space we have more attractive has become a new hobby.