Thinking about renovating in 2024? From home improvement concerns to the importance of budgeting, we catch up with industry experts to find out all you need to know if you are planning a project this year…
In the past few years, we’ve seen costs rise to an all-time high, plus shortages of building materials for renovations, and delays on top of delays. “Inflation and the cost-of-living crisis have put a huge amount of pressure on the home improvement sector, exacerbated by the fact that those lucky few that can still afford to spend have invested in holidays and hospitality rather than their homes,” explains Richard Shore, head of product design at bathroom company Utopia. So are things starting to improve?
If you are planning a renovation in 2024, you’ll be happy to know that things are looking up in the home improvement sector. “At the beginning of last year, the biggest challenge in terms of managing a renovation project were shortages of building materials and kitchen appliances resulting in long delays. The situation here has much improved with lead times, in general, much shorter than they were this time last year,” assures Bill Miller at My Kitchen Specialist.
To bring you a guide to renovating in 2024, we’ve done a deep dive into the interiors industry and sought advice from the experts. Let’s begin, shall we?
Even though things are starting to improve, there are still some concerns regarding planning home improvement projects in 2024. Research by renovation company Beams has found that 65% of renovation projects take longer than planned, with 40% extended by weeks or months, rather than days. Some of the main home renovation concerns, according to Beams, include:
- finding a good contractor (28%)
- spiralling costs (23%)
- managing multiple parties on top of other responsibilities (21%) – with kitchens and bathrooms the worst rooms for overrunning timelines (42% and 21%)
Bill has also found that many of the independent kitchen specialists that form the mykitchenspecialist.co.uk network have reported a drop in new sales enquiries, as consumers choose to wait until the economic climate improves before making any large purchasing decisions.
“However, if a renovation is on your mind, it is worth discussing it with a reputable retailer or tradesperson, to see if the project will be manageable for you,” he advises.
If you’re feeling concerned about a renovation running over or any other problems that can crop up it’s worth looking into renovation insurance for extra protection and peace of mind.
But what is renovation insurance and why do you need it? “Renovation insurance covers your home during contract works or renovations, including bathrooms and kitchens,” explains Matthew Ashton, director at Stanhope Insurance. “Renovation insurance typically covers the following:
- the existing structure (the building)
- the contract works (the renovation works you’re having completed)
- any associated liabilities like public or non-negligent liability (damage to a shared wall, otherwise known as the ‘party wall’ when negligence cannot be discerned).
How much does a kitchen or bathroom project cost in 2024?
Although costs will vary widely depending on the scale of your renovation, we’ve got a rough estimate for you. Kbbreview, the most established business title for the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom retail industry (and our sister magazine), has conducted comprehensive research for its Retail Survey 2024, which included speaking to more than 500 independent kitchen and bathroom retailers.
Drum roll, please – the research has found that the average cost of a complete kitchen project value is £27,500, while for a bathroom it is £14,900.
Budgeting is key
So, if you are renovating in 2024, budgeting effectively is imperative. “The most significant challenge as 2023 progressed, which is still the case for many today, is how to budget for a significant renovation with higher living costs to contend with,” explains Bill.
Pia Pelkonen, creative director at Pia Design, agrees: “Budgets do seem to be more stretched, with inflation hitting both material and labour costs. For us as interior designers, it means that more of our clients’ budgets are being spent before we get to the interior specification, where costs have also risen. We are noticing homeowners scaling back their plans for refurbishments, more often than not opting to work with the existing footprint and increasing storage capacity, and making general internal improvements to how they live rather than to embark on costly extension projects.”
What can you do to successfully renovate your home in 2024? “Plan your budget carefully!” advises Pia.
“Consider the priorities for the project – what are the ‘must haves’ versus the ‘nice to haves’ – and be prepared to make some compromises. Are there parts of the existing interior that could be kept, for example existing fireplaces, architectural details, doors or even the kitchen units?” she adds.
Visit the local kitchen or bathroom companies on your high street and shop close to home in 2024. Eager to welcome you with a cuppa and show you around the room displays, your local experts are one of the best places to seek design advice. “If you are looking for expert knowledge, a great customer experience and value for money, alongside a wide selection of kitchen ranges to choose from, then consider a local independent kitchen specialist,” advises Bill.
“They will look after your project from start to finish, including sourcing reputable tradespeople, and will spend time with you, giving you valuable advice based on their own knowledge and experience. Some independent retailers may even be able to offer finance options to help you manage the payment of your kitchen affordably.”
Simon Bodsworth, managing director at Daval, agrees: “I strongly advise you to consider ‘Buying British’ throughout your renovation as you will be supporting British manufacturing, reducing your carbon footprint and partnering with suppliers and businesses who understand all aspects of UK properties.”
If you are considering upgrading your bathroom, Emma Joyce, brand manager at House of Rohl, recommends thinking long-term and opting for quality pieces. “The industry rule of thumb is that most homeowners update their bathroom around every ten years, but this timespan has stretched as people think longer term. Choose timeless products but build flexibility into the overall scheme to allow for minor refreshes,” advises Emma.
Keep calm and carry on
To sum up, things are starting to look up in the home improvement sector following the doom and gloom of 2023. “Fortunately, even with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis we’re witnessing a gradual easing of these challenges, with manufacturers and retailers forging stronger partnerships to weather the storm. While the pressure persists, fostering open communication and embracing flexibility in project timelines will undoubtedly ease the burden,” says Rebecca Nottingham, editor at Kbbreview. “Go into the project with your eyes open and be as mindful of timescales and budget as you can. This will ensure a more cohesive partnership with your designer.”
And, as the experts advise, seek help from your local specialists, plan your budget thoroughly, and think long-term. So, if you are renovating in 2024, we wish you the best of luck!
Featured image: iStock/ peterschreiber.media