Rising home renovation costs

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Our desire for home improvement has exploded in 2021 with 49% of UK residents improving their homes in some way – including home bars, home gyms and building walls between open spaces to create better areas for flexible living.

A new study by Rated People has found that compared to the start of the pandemic in 2020, demand for home improvements has increased by 50%. In 2022, this appetite for home improvement isn’t slowing down anytime soon, with 86% of UK traders saying they expect to be “very busy” this year.

However, increased demand, coupled with Covid challenges, material supply issues, production cost increases and labor shortages, has meant owners have been hit with the increased prices for various home improvement jobs and struggled to find available craftsmen to do the job.

The rising cost of renovations

The results are taken from the 2022 People Rated Home Improvement Trends report, and it shows that 89% of tradespeople say their costs (for things like materials and labor) increased in 2021. As a result, home improvement prices rose 15% on average for homeowners last year. 78% of merchants increased their prices by 20% or less and 3% increased their prices by 50% or more.

This year, the labor and material costs for a bathroom renovation are expected to cost around £5,726 on average, 22% more than in 2021 and 40% more than in 2020. For a loft conversion owners will have to pay 25% more than in 2020 – that’s an extra £7,000 owners now have to pay for the same work.

A kitchen renovation (including a full tear down, fitting of the new kitchen, worktop, tiling and works such as electric, gas and plumbing, but not the cost of the new kitchen it -even) now costs an additional £1,500 compared to just two years ago, with prices now 25% higher.

The average price of an extension has increased by 9% in 2022 compared to 2021, and by 23% if we refer to the start of the pandemic in 2020. Owners must now shell out nearly £7,000 more in average for an extension compared to price of only two years ago.

Prepare for higher prices if you need these trades

In 2022, nine out of 10 tradespeople expect their costs to rise and 82% say they will have to raise their prices this year. Jobs that require builders, heating engineers, plasterers and carpenters are the most likely to be affected by rising prices. Almost all builders (97%) plan to raise prices – and 91% of heating engineers and 89% of plasterers and carpenters will raise prices this year.

When looking at the top 10 trades most likely to charge higher prices this year, a minimum of 77% of each trade say they will have to raise their prices in 2022.

The top 10 trades that increase their prices in 2022:

Builders – 97% (raising their prices this year)
Gas/heating engineers – 91%
Plasterers/fillers – 89%
Carpenters/joiners – 89%
Handymen – 88%
Plumbers – 84%
Roofers – 82%
Gardeners – 81%
Painters/decorators – 79%
Electricians – 77%

Where have all the good craftsmen gone?

The owners also struggled to find tradesmen available to carry out the work. 62% of tradespeople said 2021 was “the busiest year they’ve ever had”, so it’s no surprise that 45% of owners struggled to find an available tradesman the year last.

London was the hardest hit, with 54% of owners experiencing availability issues. And Liverpool (53%), Edinburgh (49%) and Belfast (48%) were not far behind.

Across the UK, 45% of homeowners also experienced delays to work they had carried out – with Covid, labor shortages and material supply issues contributing to many delays. 43% of owners also had to change their original plans because materials or design elements ran out.

How Homeowners Are Spending Their Home Renovation Budget in 2022

Despite challenges and price increases, demand for home improvements and renovations remains strong this year. So when it comes to the ways we will adapt our homes, homeowners invest most of their budget in maximizing space and improving functionality. Extensions, additions, new verandas and building walls to create separate rooms are among the top five upgrades homeowners want to spend the most money on in 2022.

Starting a home bar is sixth in the priority list when it comes to the amount of budget they set aside – ahead of home gyms in seventh place. Other “pandemic-inspired” home improvements, such as adapting a room to make it multi-functional and adding outdoor entertaining space, are also on the priority list.

Top 15 home improvements homeowners want to spend the most money on in 2022:

Build an extension – £18,580 (owner’s average budget for the works)
Construction of an annex – £16,731
Added en-suite bathroom – £15,885
New conservatory/orangery – £15,564
Build a wall to create separate rooms – £13,977
Setting up a home bar – £13,939
Creating a home gym – £12,057
New Kitchen – £12,057
New Porch – £11,252
Make a room multifunctional – £10,772
Creating an Outdoor Entertainment Space – £10,483
New windows throughout – £9,547
Tile – £7,728
Landscaping – £6,622
Painting – £4,743

Adrienne Minster, CEO of Rated People, said: “It’s amazing how the last two years have influenced the way we improve our homes, but unfortunately the combined effects of Covid and Brexit have meant that the vast majority of tradespeople have suffered cost increases, that they must now pass on to owners to remain profitable.

“So many aspects of our lives are now affected by rising prices, so if you are doing work on your home this year – to ensure you get the best value for money, it is now more important than ever to start plan and budget as early as possible so you can negotiate a good price and avoid merchants being booked months in advance.

“At Rated People, we make it easy for homeowners to find quality local craftsmen. No matter how you want to improve your home this year, we’re a great place to start your search for a trusted craftsman.”

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