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Post Office Personal Loans Home Improvements Survey

One of the most exciting things about homeownership is being able to make changes and revamp your living space.

With the Home Renovation Survey from Post Office, you can get inspired and breathe new life into your home. We’ve researched the most recent renovation projects to give you a creative boost, from a new kitchen to a loft conversion.

Man kneeling down on one knee looking at his phone with DIY tools in front of him

Operation: Renovation 

Ready to remodel your kitchen, convert your loft or spruce up your living room? Britain is a nation of interior design enthusiasts, with many of us seeking to redesign and adapt our homes. 

The desire for home improvement continues to grow, and it’s easy to see why. Rising house prices and moving costs – including stamp duty, removals and estate agent fees – have deterred homeowners from buying. Instead, they’ve taken to transforming their existing homes and staying put for the long term. 

We’re now seeing a boom in budget-friendly home improvements. However, more expensive projects, such as extensions, new conservatories and annexes, might be more challenging to carry out. But your home is your castle, so whatever plans you may have for your humble abode, a personal loan could make your dream a reality.  

In fact, home improvements are one of the most popular reasons for taking out a personal loan. But which trends are currently soaring? 

At Post Office Personal Loans, we investigated recent trends in UK home renovations and the average cost for homeowners. 


Key findings include: 

  • Three of the most popular improvements related to the loft, and ‘loft conversion’ topped the list overall with over 27,000 searches. While on the costly side, loft conversions are a quick solution for creating more space and are also energy efficient when paired with roof insulation 
  • The garden proved to be another focal point for homeowners. A well-maintained outdoor area can increase the value of a property. With more UK homeowners converting their sheds and outbuildings into office space, this trend is likely to continue 
  • ‘New kitchen’ (9,900) and ‘bathroom renovation’ (4,400) completed the top three searches for home improvement. ‘Kitchen renovation’ reappeared with 2,900 searches, and again in the 11th spot with 880 results – underlining these as key rooms in the home 
  • We’re seeing more focus on green home improvements, with sustainability featuring on the list three times. Energy-efficient home improvements are becoming more common as homeowners try to keep energy costs low 

Major upgrades to your home can carry a hefty price tag, but a home improvement loan can help to fund these projects and achieve a dream home.


Top home improvement trends 

To uncover the top home improvement trends in the UK, we analysed the volume of searches for different areas around the house people wish to renovate.  

  • Loft conversion - 27100 
  • New kitchen - 9900 
  • Renovation - 9900 
  • Bathroom renovation - 4400 
  • Kitchen renovation - 2900 
  • Garden makeover - 2400 
  • Home renovation - 2400 
  • Staircase renovation - 2400 
  • Garden renovation - 1000 
  • Kitchen home improvement - 880 
  • Sustainable home - 590 

When looking at the volume of renovation search terms, the UK’s average monthly search for ‘renovation’ per person sat at 7.88. This was closely followed by ‘bathroom’ at 4.23 and ‘kitchen’ at 3.50. The total average search volume for all renovation terms was around 15.82. (Source: Compare the Market, January 2023

inforgraphic for home improvement survey


Renovation costs 

Once we determined the most popular home improvement trends by search volume, we calculated the average price for popular projects.  

  • Loft conversion - £38,750 
  • Extension - £28,8008 
  • New roof - £12,333 
  • New kitchen - £10,812 
  • Garage conversion - £10,416 
  • Damp - £9,683 
  • New bathroom - 5,680 
  • Installing central heating - £4,687 
  • New boiler - £1,783 
  • Fixing rot - £1,500 
  • Woodworm treatment - £625 


Sustainable home improvements 

With energy bills rising, homeowners are now placing much more emphasis on energy efficiency in their homes. Eco-friendly improvements have the potential to lower energy bills and cut your carbon footprint. In fact, 52% of Britons claimed saving money on bills was their main motivator for adding eco home improvements to their property. (Source: Rated People, January 2023) 

Homeowners are equally keen to invest in eco home technology to achieve a sustainable home. Currently, there are around 2.2 million smart homes in the UK. Smart homes typically have a central hub that’s linked to at least two devices – such as a smart speaker or app. (Source: The Eco Experts, January 2023) 

Further studies showed the most popular smart devices in the UK were smart speakers, a smart thermostat, smart lighting and smart security. The report suggested that those who own one smart device is likely to invest in another. (Source: YouGov, August 2018) 

With this in mind, it’s no surprise the term ‘sustainable home’ appeared in the top 10 searches around home improvements.  


Smart technology – and savings 

As the world becomes more green-conscious, we expect to see more smart technology sneak into our homes. The top smart home trends and ideas we anticipate for 2023 include: 

1. Smart robot cleaners 

2. Smart thermostats 

3. Smart lighting 

4. Wi-Fi extenders 

5. Hi-tech health and wellness (smart scales, air purifiers, smart showers) 

6. Security systems (alarms, sensors, video doorbells, keyless locks) 

7. Voice control (Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa) 

8. Smart speakers 

9. Smart window dressings (remote control curtains and electric blinds) 

10. Smart kitchen (smart fridge, smart cooker, app-controlled appliances)

(Source: Ideal Home, December 2022)

It’s always worth thinking about how you can improve the energy efficiency of your home during a renovation project. If you want to jump on the smart home trend without breaking the bank, we’ve selected the most cost-efficient improvements to consider. 

  • Smart meter 

Controls the amount of energy you use by setting energy budgets 

Potential saving - £480 per year

  • Smart thermostat 

Shows energy consumption in real-time and adjusts heating 

Potential saving - £311 per year

  • Floor insulation 

Reduces draughts and makes the home warmer 

Potential saving - £110 per year

  • Smart radiator valves 

Controls heating schedules for each individual radiator in the home 

Potential saving - £70 per year

  • Smart lights 

Uses 90% less energy than traditional lights – can be controlled from a phone app 

Potential saving - £55 per year


Key takeaways 

Whether it’s to add space for a growing family or improve the property’s value, renovating a house can inject new life into a home. Whichever renovation you choose, you’ll want to think about how it can impact you financially.

If you want to undertake a big home improvement project, then a personal loan can help to offset any extreme costs. But first, you can check your eligibility for a loan without affecting your credit score. 

To find out more about borrowing money to develop or do up your property, read our guide to unsecured loans for home improvement.

Common questions 

Can I get a personal loan for home improvement? 

Yes, you can use a personal loan for home improvement. A home improvement loan may help you cover a range of projects, including: 

  • Building a loft conversion 
  • Extensions 
  • Replacing your boiler 
  • Repairs 
  • Fitting a new kitchen or bathroom 

How can I make my home improvement loan go further? 

When you get a home improvement loan, there are some measures you can take to make the most of the money. This includes comparing quotes from several tradespeople and checking their reviews to see if they’re reputable. You may also want to consider materials that are cost-effective and eco-friendly yet still practical and visually appealing, such as reclaimed wood and concrete sheets. 


Money and borrowing services

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    Find out about Post Office Credit Cards and check if you're eligible without affecting your credit score.