Introduction to the Trends Report 2020

A guide to what’s what in renovation and home design.

Our homes are constantly evolving to fit around family life, so to find out how UK homeowners are improving their homes in 2020, we analysed almost a million jobs posted on Rated People and spoke to homeowners and tradespeople up and down the country.

You can download the full Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report: 2020 here.

From huge spikes in people wanting to make their homes more eco-friendly, to millennials being more likely than any other generation to tackle big DIY renovation jobs – if you’re looking for inspiration for a future project, or you’re just curious to see which design features attract and repel the most buyers, here are five things we think will be big in 2020.

Design and renovation trends 2020

1. Open plan is evolving

It seems more of us are starting to prefer the idea of having a separate lounge to our ‘hub of the home’ kitchen diners. Jobs that involve putting a wall back in, to create separate living spaces, are up 350% in 2020 compared to 2019.

So, whether it’s an adult-only zone to kick back and relax in when the kids have gone to bed, or it’s a stylish room that blocks out the mess of everyday life, 2020 could be the year when open plan starts to evolve.

2. Bold isn’t always best for potential buyers

When it comes to selling your home, our research has surprisingly revealed some of the most on trend design features from the last few years could in fact make potential buyers less likely to purchase your property.

So, if you’re dressing your home for sale it’s probably best to avoid anything that’s too personal as it could make it harder for buyers to see themselves living there. For expert advice on how you can quickly and easily tone down any of these features to maximise your home’s value, see a range of expert tips here.

At the other end of the scale, these are the features that buyers look for the most when house hunting.

Interestingly, six of the top 15 are outside the home, with a lawned garden, security system, paved patio, outdoor lights, bifold doors and decking, all working to increase the number of potential buyers for a property. And, although some of the these might seem like bigger and more costly jobs to complete, there are clever and cost-effective ways to achieve similar looks for a fraction of the price.

Head to our cost guides and tips section to find out how to maximise your home’s value with minimal effort.

The 15 design features most likely to put buyers off

The 15 home improvements that attract the most buyers

3. Millennials are getting stuck into renovation to get onto the property ladder

Millennials are planning the most and biggest renovation jobs in 2020 compared with all other age groups.

In 2020, more 25-34 year old homeowners are planning home improvement work than any other generation.

They’re also twice as likely as the average UK homeowner to tackle jobs themselves, like plastering, fitting a new kitchen, removing an internal wall and even building a driveway.

Compared with just 20 years ago, it now takes the average adult an extra eight years to be able to buy their first home.

So, one of the reasons for the renovation work could be that more millennials are finding cheaper properties in need of work to get onto the illusive property ladder – and rather than making do with woodchip wallpaper and questionable carpets, they’re getting stuck into DIY to create the home of their dreams.

25-34 year olds are twice as likely as the average UK homeowner to tackle jobs themselves.
14% of UK homeowners made their homes more eco-friendly in 2019, and in 2020, twice as many are planning eco-friendly / energy efficiency-related home improvements. 

4. More of us want to make our homes more eco-friendly

Awareness of climate change and the damage that’s being done to the environment is higher than ever in the UK. Many of us are already using less plastic, eating less meat, and recycling more, and now twice as many UK homeowners are planning to make their homes more eco-friendly in 2020 compared to 2019. And, with the Green Homes Grant announced in July 2020, that number looks set to soar.

It’s not just homeowners who are focussing more on eco-friendly improvements either – 48% of tradespeople plan to introduce changes at work to become more eco-friendly in 2020. Common changes include upgrading to electric vehicles, recycling waste more efficiently, reusing old materials more, and moving towards using more conventional non-power reliant tools and machinery.

The top 10 eco improvements made by UK homeowners in 2019 
Top 10 eco improvements planned for 2020 

5. Safety and security are front of mind when it comes to home improvements

When looking at the jobs posted on Rated People that have seen the biggest spikes in popularity in the last three years, safety and security appear to be increasingly important for UK homeowners, with three of the top ten being around protecting our homes.

Fire alarm installation is the job that’s seen the biggest spike in popularity – up by a massive 178%, CCTV installation isn’t far behind with a 134% increase, and the installation of security gates and bollards is just inside the top 10 with a 72% increase.

Other jobs in the top 15 are to do with decoration, including decorative ironmongery and metalwork which has seen a huge 174% surge, and bathroom design which has increased by 69%.

Surprisingly, pebble dashing has seen a 69% increase, as have pond and water features, with a 64% increase. Building flat pack furniture has also seen a spike in uptake, with an increase of 61% over the last three years.

Top 15 jobs for 2017 – 2019
Jobs ranked according to the percentage of homeowners using Rated People to find a professional tradesperson, excluding paid activity.

The Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report: 2020

To put together our guide on what’s what in renovation and home design, we analysed a representative sample of 821,850 jobs of the 3 million posted on Rated People over the last three years, and conducted surveys of UK homeowners and tradespeople. We think it’s a pretty compelling read for anyone interested in home improvement and interiors, and we hope you’ll agree.

If you’re looking to sell your home in 2020, or just curious about ways to update the design – we can help you find local builders and tradespeople.

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