Over the last two years, we’ve spent much more time in our homes, and unsurprisingly there’s been a rise in making improvements to the way we live. Whether it’s due to covid or the impact of climate change, people’s personal motivations for improving their homes are changing. We can often fixate on only making home improvements if it results in a monetary reward; however, the true value is more about the increased sense of wellbeing and balance these changes can provide.
We looked at some surveys carried out by Royal London and the Rated People Home Improvement report to explore why people improve their homes and the true value of home improvements.
The true value of home improvements and renovations
64% of Brits wouldn’t buy a home without a garden
During the pandemic, people rediscovered the importance of outdoor space. Our gardens became a much-needed sanctuary for many of us during the lockdowns, so this comes as no surprise! According to Royal London, 27% of people landscape their garden over the first two years of ownership, and the average value added to properties is reported as £9,502.17.
As more people focus on improving their outside spaces, there are some simple ways you can make a significant difference without spending thousands. If you’re time-poor but love to sit outside at the weekend during warmer months, there are a few quick wins you can achieve. Fill a couple of planters with flowers to add colour to a dull patio area. If you plan further ahead, you can plant a few bulbs in the autumn and winter to enjoy spring blossoms from late February onwards. Finally, turn a bare patch in your garden into a wildflower corner using seed balls; this is a fantastic way to attract pollinators like bees.
During our financial planning process, we explore what clients really want life to look like in the future, and often it will include improvements to their home or garden. Recently, when exploring what retirement would look like for one couple, they explained that they’d love to spend more time in the garden and build a summer house. And here’s the result – just stunning! It’s no surprise they wanted to spend more time in it.
48% of people made improvements to their kitchen in the first two years
The kitchen is often the heart of the home. It is where daily meals are prepared, and if you have an open kitchen-dining area, it could also be where your family spends quality time together too. However, kitchens are sometimes a deal-breaker when it comes to moving house. The study showed that a modern kitchen added £11,159.95 to the property value, so upgrading your kitchen on a budget by changing some of your appliances and changing the cupboard doors or worktops might be an investment well spent if you’re thinking of moving.
The main driving force behind most home renovations was the need for more space, and as we move towards more open plan living, an extension to your kitchen and dining space may benefit your lives than just adding to the property value. So it’s all about weighing up the value of home improvements on your lifestyle and the value it will add to your property too.
If you need to adapt a property for older parents, think carefully about placing the oven. Older people often have arthritis and have more restrictive movement, so bending down to retrieve hot baking trays could become risky. Eye-level grills and ovens are usually preferable. Another way to reduce the risk of burns and scalds is to replace the kettle with a hot water dispenser. This can also save energy by boiling enough water for one cup.
57% of Brits are aiming to become more eco-friendly
Tackling green issues has become a top priority for many of us. You might be increasingly worried about the future of the planet for the next generation, especially if you’re a parent or grandparent. Combined with rising energy bills, the urgent need to “go green” is leading to various types of home improvements. So, how can you make your home eco-friendlier?
First, let’s look at heating, did you know that almost 95% of homes in the UK are centrally heated, and the majority are fuelled by gas or oil. With heating contributing to about 30% of the UK’s total greenhouse emissions and half of that specifically to heat our homes, it’s no surprise they may be banned as soon as 2025. Air source heat pumps are being marketed as the alternative to gas boilers, and although these can often cost around £10,000 to install, there have been a few government schemes to help people make this purchase. The Green Homes Grant has now stopped but if you have been issued with a voucher, you can use this until March 2022.
Another way to go green and save on your energy bills is to replace any draughty or old UPVC windows. There’s a vast range of window types available these days, so you should be able to match a brand-new window to the ones in your home. According to Royal London, 21% of people replace their windows in the first two years of moving house.
It’s also important to check the quality of your home insulation. Replacing this with a newer type could help you reduce your energy bills and keep your home toasty and warm! Typically, a third of central heating produced is lost through the roof, floors walls, and windows. So, for every £3 spent on heating, you’re wasting £1!
Whilst you’re up there in your roof space, you could also fit loft boards to create an extra room in your house, which could be used for storage, or you could convert this into a dormer-style bedroom or home office. The need for more space is ranked as the number 1 reason for renovating a house (Royal London).
There are lots of other ways you can improve your home, and although it’s always wise to think ahead, make sure your plans work with your present needs too. Aim for a good balance between maintaining the value of home improvements and making sure it meets your needs, so you can enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle today and in the future.
If you’re thinking of making improvements or renovations to your home and need a financial plan, why not ask our independent financial planners for a review? Get in touch today.