In our third instalment of looking at the findings of the Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report 2023, we focus on both the sustainable and cost-saving home improvement trends for UK homeowners this year.
Sustainable and eco home improvements are not going away any time soon. Back in 2022, about 25% of the homeowners surveyed installed eco home improvements, which are expected to rise further in 2023. In fact, according to the report, 45% of homeowners in the UK are looking to make their homes more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
But, what’s the view from tradespeople? Well, 70% of tradespeople believe that the eco home improvement trend will continue to grow this year which is driven by homeowners’ increasing concern about the cost of energy. This coincides with the results from asking homeowners why they want to install eco home improvements. The top three were:
- 50% wanted to save money on bills
- 32% to be more environmentally conscious
- 30% to help reduce the carbon footprint
The top eco home improvements homeowners plan to do
In this section we look at the top three eco home improvements which homeowners aim to install in 2023. Unsurprisingly, all three are associated with reducing the cost of energy bills. Outside of the top three, but still popular eco home improvements include:
Now, let’s get into the top three eco home improvements.
Installing a smart meter (11%)
Smart meters provide real time data on energy use and, in theory, reduce the need to provide meter readings. In 2021 alone, over 3.8 million were installed in homes across the UK which was a 19% increase from the previous year and now, over half of UK homes and businesses have a smart meter installed.
The purpose of smart meters is to educate the homeowner on energy efficiency. However, unless the information provided by the smart meter is acted upon, you won’t save as much money as you could…especially when it comes to reducing heating bills.
Installing draught proofing (11%)
Heat being lost through small gaps in doors, floorboards and windows within your home will waste money, so it’s not surprising that draught proofing features in the top three. Heat loss not only causes your heating to kick in more regularly, it also will take longer to heat the space to your set temperature all of which will increase your annual energy bill.
There are many types of draught-proofing measures you can do around your home. For example, you can use a silicon-based filler to plug any gaps between the skirting board and the floor.
Installing extra insulation (10%)
Poor insulation in a home is one of the biggest causes of heat loss. For example:
- 25% of heat is lost through the roof of a poorly insulated home
- Poorly insulated walls account for 35%-40% of heat loss
The warm air rises, making its way into the loft-space before escaping through the roof, unless it’s prevented or reduced from doing so with insulation. Examples of insulation for loft spaces include blanket insulation, board insulation and blown insulation.
Insulation also plays a vital role for electric underfloor heating. Without insulation board, the room will take longer to reach the desired temperature, which will will cost more money to run. Including insulation board means you will reduce heat being lost downwards through the subfloor. Instead, most of the heat will be heating the floor above and improve the efficiency of your electric underfloor heating system by up to 50%!
The rise of the ‘part updates’ in home improvement
‘Part or micro updates’ in home renovations are updates rather than full refurbishments. A classic example of this is instead of fitting an entirely new kitchen, you give the cupboard doors a lick of paint to add a bit of life back into the room. The great thing about part updates for the cost savvy and environmentally conscious homeowner is that they cost less and reduce waste. This year (2023) 41% of homeowners plan to part update rooms within their home compared to 37% in 2022.
Of the 'part update' projects that homeowners have planned for 2023, upgrading bathroom hardware features on top of the list. Examples of a bathroom 'part update' include replacing taps, radiators and shower screens, all of which can create a brand new look and feel for the room. Also, featuring in the top five of 'part update' projects, is replacing bathroom tiles instead of a complete bathroom refurb (15% of homeowners).
Interestingly, the top three reasons homeowners gave as to why they are only undertaking part updates are all associated to saving money, which makes sense considering the cost-of-living crisis we are experiencing as a nation. Here are the top three reasons:
- To reduce the cost (36%)
- Can’t afford to do a full refurbishment (34%)
- It’s a more cost-effective way to get a new look (32%)
With the increase in part updates, more homeowners are finding new ways to renovate more sustainably too, from 36% in 2022 to 48% in 2023. Some of the ways homeowners are becoming more sustainable include:
- Selling or donating old fitting, building material or appliances to reduce waste
- Using second-hand materials
- Recycling waste instead of taking it to the local tip
Are tradespeople going greener too?
According to Rated People’s report, yes they are. Of those who are planning to take a more eco approach to their business, they’ve cited the following reasons:
- 59% want to be more environmentally friendly because they care about the planet
- 41% Think homeowners want businesses to be more environmentally friendly
- 17% Think competitors are making changes, so they follow
But how are tradespeople planning to do it? Much of it is about reducing fuel consumption. For example, taking on more local jobs and providing quotes remotely. Also ranked in the top 10 is tradespeople plan to ‘buy more British’ and support local. As a British manufacturer of electric heating, this is music to our ears.
2023 looks brighter for the environment as homeowners and tradespeople alike plan to undertake more eco actions and by the looks of it, this trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
To download the Rated People Home Improvements Trend Report 2023, click here.
If you do have any questions, please contact our team who are always on hand with helpful advice that can save you both time and money.