Trends report

This Year’s Biggest Trends in Home Improvement, Renovation and Interior Design

For insights on the biggest trends in renovation and home improvement, take a look at the Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report 2023

Welcome to this year’s report – the fourth annual edition, and we hope this is the biggest and best one yet.

This year’s edition of the Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report leverages our proprietary data and nationwide research and it’s full of insights for homeowners, homebuyers and tradespeople.  

With tips on how to renovate more cost effectively and sustainably, and insights into where the biggest opportunities are for tradespeople, the 2023 report will be a valuable tool for anyone who wants to get the most out of their home improvement jobs this year.  

To create this year’s report, we analysed more than 1 million home improvement jobs posted through Rated People. We also spoke to thousands of tradespeople, homeowners and homebuyers across the UK – and these are the top five biggest home improvement trends for 2023. 

2023’s Biggest Home Improvement Trends

Trend #1 – The ‘Race For Space’ Is Over  

Picture of a games room with billiard table

This year, alongside the usual staples like painting and decorating, new kitchens and bathrooms, homeowners want to create better storage, walk-in wardrobes, saunas, home bars, games rooms and playrooms. The pandemic meant people needed to adapt their homes for new ways of living – from working at home to home-schooling – but this year, it’ll all be about injecting fun back into the home.     

Key interior design trends for 2023 will be earthy colour palettes, curved lines, biophilic design and natural materials. Green, beige and taupe will be key colour trends and broken plan has now firmly taken over open plan.  

Trend #2 – The Home Improvement Squeeze 

Picture of a walk in wardrobe in white with wooden floors

Compared to 2020, demand for home improvement and tradespeople in 2022 was still up by 23%. But, with the increasing cost of energy and the rising cost of living, demand reduced by 15% in 2022 compared to 2021.  

This year, as people across the UK are understandably looking to rein in spending, fewer homeowners are planning home improvements – 35% say they will definitely be improving their homes, which is down from 52% in 2022, and 26% say they’re unsure.  

The cost of materials and operational costs for tradespeople have risen considerably over the past two years and this will continue to push up prices for home improvement jobs in 2023. Nine in 10 tradespeople expect their costs to increase further this year, and as a result 86% of tradespeople will need to increase their prices for homeowners by an average of 17%.  

Because of this, almost half of UK homeowners (who are planning work), are worried they won’t have enough money to complete the projects they wanted to do in 2023 and almost three in four UK tradespeople expect to have work drop out because of the rising cost of living. 

The cost-of-living crisis is also impacting essential and emergency home maintenance jobs. Close to two in three UK homeowners will put off essential home maintenance jobs this year. Of the 36% of homeowners who identified at least one essential home maintenance job that they won’t be able to do in 2023, one in five, which is the equivalent of around 1 million households, won’t be able to repair or service their boiler, which could be fatal if a fault goes unchecked. And shockingly, one in 11 homeowners say they would have to go without food if they experienced a home maintenance emergency that couldn’t be put off. 

Trend #3 – Homeowners Are Renovating To Beat The Property Market  

Picture of a kitchen with wooden fittings and grey walls

With high property prices and interest rates, many people are now choosing to either renovate their existing home, or buy a property in need of work to create the home of their dreams for less money. Close to half of homeowners (who will be doing home improvement work this year) say they’ll be taking on a full renovation project and a further 23% say they’re considering it.   

Almost two in three tradespeople expect to work on renovation projects in 2023, and well over half think demand for renovations will increase this year. The cost of home improvement work is impacting the types of jobs that will be most in demand. In 2021, it would have cost around £24,000 on average to complete a renovation of a three-bed semi in the UK. In 2023, the same work will cost just over £34,500, which means renovations have increased by more than £10,000 for homeowners, or 46%, in just two years.  

Trend #4 – Homeowners Turn To Eco Home Improvements To Save Money On Energy Bills 

Solar panels on new build homes

With rising energy prices, almost three in four UK homeowners say they’ll be using their heating less in 2023, and demand for eco home improvements is at a record high as more homeowners try to cut the cost of their energy bills. Demand for solar panels has increased by 222% in just two years, and thermal insulation has increased by 143%. 

Nine in 10 UK homeowners want to adapt their homes to make them more energy efficient and environmentally friendly in 2023 and half of UK homeowners say saving money on their bills is their biggest motivator for installing eco home improvements. 

Eight in 10 tradespeople are also planning to be more eco-friendly in 2023 and it’s electricians, handypeople and bathroom fitters that are leading the charge, with at least 75% of the tradespeople in those trades looking for ways to work more sustainably this year.  

More homeowners are also looking for sustainable ways to renovate and adapt their homes to minimise their impact on the planet and save money in the process. ‘Part updates’, like replacing kitchen doors instead of ripping the whole kitchen out are becoming increasingly popular, and 70% of tradespeople think demand for part updates will increase in 2023.  

Trend #5 – A Trade Profession Is Now The Top Choice For People Looking To Switch Careers  

Picture of a tradesperson working on a piece of wood with a tool

Searches on Google for ‘career switch’ have increased by 38% in the last two years, and more and more people are now starting to see the lucrative opportunities available in the trades industry. One in four people in the UK would now be interested in working as a tradesperson, and more people who want to switch careers in 2023 are looking to work as a tradesperson over any other line of work.  

With workforce shortages being felt across the industry, the opportunities within the trades are vast. One in three tradespeople currently working say they switched careers to work in their trade, and close to two in three say they now make more money as a tradesperson than they did in their previous career.  

Almost nine in 10 tradespeople think more young people should also consider a trade career – but just under half of UK adults say they weren’t offered a trade career in their career advice when they were in school. Positively though, it appears things could be starting to change for the younger generation as there was a 40% rise in trade training and enrolments in 2022. 

See the full report here

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