Don't move, improve:the best — and worst — home renovation projects of the year revealed

Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

UK homeowners now stay in the same property for nearly two decades, with more than half of us choosing to renovate our existing homes rather than face the expense and hassle of moving to a new one.

Stamp duty costs and Brexit uncertainty are halting the market even further, so it's no surprise that 28 per cent of homeowners — surveyed as part of the 2018 Barclays Home Improvement Report — said a lack of affordability was behind many decisions to stay put.

“With so many of us now staying in our properties for such a long time, it is clear that our homes are so much more than just bricks and mortar – they are a space for us to relax and enjoy times with our loved ones, so it is important to make them fit for purpose," says Phil Spencer, TV property expert and spokesperson for the Barclays Mortgages report.

Most popular projects


  • New carpets (35%)
  • New kitchen (31%)
  • Landscaping the garden (29%)

Barclays 2018 Home Improvement Report Survey

One in four home-owning Brits said their main reason for renovating was to increase the value of their property. The most popular home improvement projects carried out this year were fitting new carpets (35 per cent), installing a new kitchen (31 per cent) and landscaping the garden (29 per cent).

An impressive 79 per cent of owners carried out improvements in the past two years and 73 per cent revealed they would like to make changes in the next 12 months.

Most desired


  • Bi-folding doors (30%
  • Smart home tech (26%)
  • Spa bathrooms (20%)

Adding bi-folding kitchen/garden doors (30 per cent), incorporating smart home tech (26 per cent) and creating a spa bathroom (20 per cent) were revealed as the most desired improvement projects among UK homeowners. 

Worst home projects


  • Woodchip wallpaper (60%)
  • Mirrored ceilings (49%)
  • Carpeted bathrooms (46%)

The top three property turn offs were woodchip wallpaper(60 per cent), mirrored ceilings (49 per cent) and carpeted bathrooms (46 per cent). Other absolute no-nos included ugly blinds, fake beams and beaded door curtains. 

"I would encourage anyone looking to update their home to take inspiration where they can, but always think about the long-term – ask yourself how something will look in three, five and 10 years before committing your time and money," says Spencer.