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The most in-demand home improvements of 2021

For the past couple of years, we’ve spoken to thousands of UK homeowners, analysed over 500,000 jobs posted on Rated People and studied Google search data and Instagram posts to create The Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report: 2021. This year’s no different! We’ve discovered that homeowners are improving their homes in every way you could think of in 2021.

We’ve summarised our findings for each trade, below. Simply click on your trade to find out what jobs you can expect to see this year.


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Where in the UK are people improving their homes?

More than half (51%) of UK homeowners are planning to improve their homes this year. The cities planning the most home renovation work range from Glasgow all the way down to Southampton. 

Top 10 cities planning to do home improvement work in 2021

Bathroom fitters

This year, 18% of homeowners are planning to fit a new bathroom, up from 12% last year. Plus, we found that a new bathroom is highly valuable to prospective homebuyers. They’d pay up to £9,011 for a newly renovated one!

Demand for smaller bathroom fitting jobs is set to grow this year, too. 12% of homeowners are planning to tile or re-tile.

Bricklayers

4% of homeowners are planning to build an outdoor pizza oven this year. Pizza oven jobs are high value to homeowners, as they can add £6,859 onto the price of a home! Other bricklaying jobs are also set to be popular this year too. Garden wall jobs were amongst the most popular external jobs posted on Rated People last year, and we saw 69% more of them posted in the run up to 2021.

We also had 83% more chimney building and repair jobs were posted on our platform in the run up to this year, so you might see chimney building and repair jobs continue to pop up in the coming months.

Builders

Builder removing wall

Whether it’s building a new wall to create separate rooms (5%) or knocking a wall down to create a bigger space (6%), wall-related jobs are amongst the most popular jobs that we’re expecting to see posted on Rated People in 2021. Plus, our research found that removing or building a wall could bring lots of monetary value to homeowners. Knocking down a wall could add £8,999 to a home’s value, whilst building a wall could add £8,123.

Our research also found that homeowners are planning to hire do more unique jobs this year:

  • 7% are planning to create a home office.
  • 6% planning to create a home gym.
  • 5% planning to create a home bar.

High value jobs are also set to be popular this year, including building an extension (planned by 9% of homeowners) and building an annex (planned by 4% of homeowners).

Carpenters and joiners

10% of homeowners are interested in carpentry jobs such as crafting built-in cupboards, shelves and wardrobes this year. Plus, 11% of them want to build extra storage into their homes.

Aside from the functional benefits of having extra storage, building bespoke storage can bring homeowners monetary value too. We found that prospective homeowners will pay £7,409 more for a home with bespoke storage.

We’ve found a trend in ‘cloffices’ (closet-offices), with Google searches for cloffices growing by 150% from 2019 to 2020. So, you might find homeowners looking for carpenters to build slimline, wall mounted desks, cupboards and more.

A new shed is the 3rd most popular garden improvement this year, too. We’ve seen a 71% increase in the amount of garden shed/playhouse jobs posted on our platform. Other garden jobs, such as new decking (planned by 10% of homeowners this year) could see you working outside more in 2021.

Cleaners

Cleaner holding cleaning supplies in bucket

It’s no surprise that cleanliness is a top priority for homeowners this year, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It’s particularly important for homeowners that are looking to sell their property this year – 61% of UK residents would put a lower offer in if a property wasn’t clean during a viewing, whilst 43% wouldn’t even view an unclean property!

You can let homeowners know that they could lose thousands of pounds if their home isn’t clean during the selling process:

  • -£9,290 for mess and clutter inside
  • -£9,254 for scuffed paintwork and marked walls
  • -£8,966 for a dirty bathroom
  • -£8,947 for bad smells
  • -£8,882 for a dirty kitchen
  • -£8,849 for dirty/stained furnishings such as carpets, curtains and sofas
  • -£8,722 for a dirty interior that hasn’t been cleaned

With various incentives for buying and selling homes this year, you could see a boom in end-of-tenancy and domestic cleaning jobs. Plus, with the potential of offices reopening as lockdown eases, demand for office and commercial deep cleaning could also increase.

Driveway pavers

Driveway paver installing paving stones

Even more homeowners are planning to get a new driveway in 2021 (8%) compared to 2020 (6%). Plus, we found that a new driveway is highly valued amongst UK homebuyers. They told us they’d pay £8,012 more for a home with one!

Stone and concrete paving jobs have increased by 65% from 2019 to 2020, and we’re expecting this trend to continue.

Electricians

Electric cars are set to be popular amongst homeowners, with 17% planning to get one in the next 5 years. So, we’re expecting to see more electric car charging point installation posted on Rated People.

External lighting has been in the top 5 garden and external jobs posted on Rated People over the past few years. Demand continues to increase, with 13% homeowners planning to install external lighting this year (up from 12% last year).

You might spot electric underfloor heating jobs on our platform too – they were the 4th most popular type of eco job posted on our platform last year.

Fencing specialists

Metal fence

In the run up to 2021, the number of wooden/metal/wire fence jobs posted by homeowners on Rated People increased by 143%. This could partly be because broken or missing panels in the garden or outdoor space of a home could knock a massive £8,957 off a home’s value.

Floor fitters

Floor fitter laying flooring

A new carpet is highly desired amongst homeowners this year. 23% of homeowners got new carpeting last year, and prospective homebuyers told us they’d pay £6,396 more for a home with new carpet. So, we’re expecting to get lots of demand for carpeting on Rated People.

Electric underfloor heating was the 4th most popular eco job posted on our posted on our platform in 2020. Similarly, the number of water underfloor heating jobs doubled in the run up to 2021. So, you might spot lots of those jobs too.

Wooden flooring is set to be popular this year. We found that new wooden flooring could add £7,255 to a home’s value. When it comes to style, Google searches for herringbone floors increased by 124% from 2019 – 2020, making it the 9th most popular interior trend in the UK for this year. Medium wood floorboards are also part of the ‘magic formula’ for an Instagram-perfect home office.

On the exterior of a home, decking is popular this year, with 10% of homeowners planning to get new decking. A decked patio could even add £4,227 to a home’s value – we saw 77% more wooden decking jobs posted on Rated People in the run up to 2021. Stone and concrete paving jobs on our platform have increased by 65% from 2019 to 2020, too.

Gardeners and landscape gardeners

Gardens were a lifeline for UK homeowners throughout the pandemic, helping many with their mental health, allowing them to see their family members safely and providing a new hobby. That’s led to 30% of UK residents saying that a property’s outside space is more interested than the inside space.

47% of homeowners are planning to transform their gardens this year, from big jobs like building a garden office to smaller jobs like planting flowers, shrubs and trees.

Homeowner demand: Bar chart showing the gardening and external jobs rising in popularity in the run up to 2021

An overgrown garden could see homeowners lose £8,817 off their home’s value, whilst others could add thousands of pounds to a home’s value. So we could see homebuyers and sellers post lots of the money-making jobs listed in the graph below on Rated People.

Homeowner demand: Bar chart showing the most value-adding garden improvements

Gas and heating engineers

Green Homes Grant-related jobs are set to be popular this year, including:

  • Biomass boilers: They’re popular throughout the UK, with 2% of homes having one. Demand for biomass boiler installation could increase, as they’re covered by the Green Homes Grant.
  • Solar panel installation: 168% more solar panel installation jobs were posted in the run up to 2021.

We also saw the number of water underfloor heating jobs double in the run up to 2021.

Handymen

Homeowner demand: Handyman putting furniture together

Home maintenance and repair jobs were the number one type of job posted on Rated People in 2020, including during the first national lockdown.

With government incentives in place for buying and selling a home in place this year, demand for general home maintenance jobs should increase, such as fixing broken fixtures. Potential homebuyers said they’d pay £8,494 less for a home with damaged fixtures.

We also predict that home office improvements will be one of the biggest trends for 2021. 38% of UK residents want to improve their home working environment this year. So, demand for those little jobs around the home, such as putting together flat-pack furniture and hanging shelves are likely to increase. 

Kitchen specialists

17% of UK homeowners told us they’re going to get a new kitchen this year. With light blue, kitchen, black and two-tone kitchens amongst the top 10 interior design trends this year, you might find yourself installing kitchen cupboards and other fittings in those tones.

Plus, we found that kitchen extensions are highly valued amongst homeowners. Potential buyers said they’d pay £11,514 more for a home with a large kitchen diner extension. Similarly, they’d pay £10,649 more for a newly renovated kitchen.

Loft conversion specialists

Loft conversions are more popular this year. 10% of homeowners are planning to convert their space in 2021, compared to 8% last year. Plus, we found that loft conversions are highly valued in the UK, with potential buyers willing to pay £12,951 more for one.

We saw demand for Velux/skylight window jobs increase by 89% in the run up to 2021, too.

Painters and decorators

Painting was the number one job completed last year – 50% of UK homeowners painted their home! That’s not changed this year. It’s still the number one job that homeowners say they’re going to tackle this year. 44% are planning to paint their home in some way.

External wall painting was also popular too. It made its way into the top 10 gardening and external jobs posted on Rated People in 2020.

Painting and decorating is also a priority for people buying or selling a home this year. Potential homebuyers told us they’d pay £9,023 less for a home if it had peeling wallpaper, £9,254 less for a home with scuffed paintwork and marked walls and £9,571 less if there’s signs of damp or mould. So, there will be lots of demand from homeowners for you to fix these issues and maximise their property’s value this year.

You could find yourself painting lots of kitchens this year:

Homeowner demand: Infographic showing the top 10 kitchen colours that attract the most buyers

Plasterers

Potential homebuyers told us that they’d pay £9,495 less for a home with cracks in the walls. That could be one of the reasons why 12% of UK homeowners are planning to do some kind of plastering job this year. So, you’ll likely see demand for replastering jobs increase.

Plumbers

Plumber fixing a sink

Plumbing repair and maintenance was big in 2020, especially during the first national lockdown, when it was the 3rd most popular home improvement job posted on Rated People.

Many homeowners are planning to get a new bathroom (18%) or kitchen (17%) this year, so plumbing jobs are likely to be plentiful.

Plumbing jobs in the garden are likely to be popular too, with 47% of UK homeowners planning to transform their garden. In particular, demand for guttering and rainwater pipe jobs could increase, as they were in the top 10 gardening and external jobs posted on our platform in 2020.

Removal companies

Removal men removing household waste

People have been re-evaluating their housing needs during the coronavirus pandemic. That’s led to lots of UK residents wanting to move to a new property in 2021:

  • 29% want more outdoor space.
  • 25% want a bigger home.
  • 23% want to be closer to family and friends.
  • 18% want to be closer to a city centre.

For those homeowners looking to sell, getting rid of waste should be a top priority. After all, rubbish or debris in their front garden or in front of their home could knock £8,963 off their home’s value.

In the run up to 2021, the number of waste removal jobs posted on Rated People increased by a massive 722%!

Roofers

Homeowners are increasingly looking to be more eco-friendly, and they’re improving their roofs in line with this. Living roofs (8%) and roof insulation (2%) were amongst the top eco jobs posted on Rated People in 2020.

We’ve also had 83% more chimney building and repair jobs and 89% more Velux/skylight window jobs posted on our platform in the run up to 2020, so you might see more of these jobs continue to pop up.

In addition, slate and tiled roof-related jobs were the 8th most popular type of job posted on Rated People in 2020. This number could continue to increase this year.

Stoneworkers and stonemasons

Stone and concrete paving jobs have increased by 65% from 2019 to 2020, and we’re expecting this trend to continue.

Tilers

Homeowner demand: Tiler working in a home

12% of UK homeowners posted a tiling job on Rated People last year, and that demand is continuing this year, as it’s the 6th most popular job amongst homeowners.

Traditional craftsmen

Wall panelling is the 3rd most popular interior trend for the UK this year, so we’re expecting to see lots of homeowners book it in this year.

11% of homeowners are planning to build extra storage in their home this year. Plus, potential homebuyers told us that they’d pay £7,409 more for a home with bespoke storage, so we’re also expecting demand for those jobs to increase.

Window fitters and conservatory installers

Government initiatives such as the Green Homes Grant has made getting double, triple and secondary glazing and uPVC windows and doors cheaper for homeowners, at no extra cost to tradespeople. With the Green Homes Grant covering both glazing and uPVC windows/doors, there is set to be an influx of these jobs.

54% of UK homes already have double glazed windows. But, with the fact that homeowners could lose £9,144 off their home’s value if they don’t have it, there’s even more reason for more window glazing jobs to be posted in 2021.

Homeowners are planning less traditional window jobs this year, too. We’ve seen an 89% increase in Velux/skylight window jobs. Plus, 4% of homeowners told us they’re going to add a conservatory to their property in 2021.

How to get involved in the homeowner demand for 2021

Plenty of homeowners are looking for tradespeople to do work for them. Lots of them are coming to Rated People to hire tradespeople, so there are plenty of opportunities live in your area, should you want to do them and if it’s legal for you to do them.

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