Should you decamp to revamp? The UK hotspots for home renovations

·4 min read
Do you live in a DIY hotspot? (Getty Images)
Do you live in a DIY hotspot? (Getty Images)

If you weren't baking banana bread or busting out some burpees with Joe Wicks in lockdown, chances are you were up a ladder painting, with stats from GoodMove revealing 48% of Brits caught the DIY bug, spending an average of £1,640 on home improvements. 

From a simple lick of paint to a total makeover, spending so much time at home has encouraged many families to focus on giving their spaces an overhaul, but it seems certain areas are better for renovations than others.

New research has revealed the best and worst places in the UK to undertake a home renovation, with Copeland in the Lake District being the easiest place to upgrade your home.  

Metals4U analysed 331 districts, towns, and cities across the UK, including planning permission and private trends data from home interiors brands, to uncover which areas are top for DIY and home renovations.

Read more: Woman quoted hundreds for stairway makeover does it herself for £120

Overall, 359,013 households were inspired to apply for planning permission across the UK, with 87% of those applications being approved. 

Sadly, this left 46,672 people who were denied planning permission and unable to complete their dream DIY projects.

The best and worst places to renovate in the UK have been revealed. (Getty Images)
The best and worst places to renovate in the UK have been revealed. (Getty Images)

Households in Corby, Westminster, Broxtowe, and West Oxfordshire, are considered to be living in some of the UK's top DIY hotspots, with the highest level of planning permission requests in 2020.

Meanwhile the easiest places to do a home renovation are Copeland, Isles of Scilly and the City of London.

With a gleaming 100% grant rate for applications in 2020, every household within both Copeland and the Isles of Scilly was allowed to carry out their home conversion, no matter how big or small.

Following closely behind was the City of London and Bolsover in Chesterfield, just outside Sheffield, both with a 98% acceptance rate for planning permission.  

Carlisle in the North of England also made the list, coming in at 6th with 185 home renovations accepted over 2020 and a 97% acceptance rate.

Watch: Woman discovers secret basement while renovating her home. 

The worst locations to do a home renovation were in the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Hillington, which had only had half (52%) of yearly planning permission applications granted.

Being densely populated, the district of Redbridge in London rejected 62% of home renovations too.

Following closely behind was Hillington, which rejected 63% of planning applications leaving 406 households not able to carry out their proposed home renovations.

Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow have been the most popular cities for bathroom renovations, according to the bathroom experts, Sanctuary Bathrooms.

Read more: Basic bathroom to Scandi spa: How to get the look for less

The bathroom before and after the renovations. (Supplied)
The bathroom before and after the renovations. (Supplied)

And turns out property renovation can be pretty lucrative with one couple sharing how they doubled their property value in just nine months during lockdown. 

Jess Archer, 32, and Jen Sinclair, 28, from London, have spent most of the last year tackling a large household project converting their new flat in Primrose Hill, London.

“We must have viewed at least 50 properties in this postcode," says Archer. "When we saw this, we made an offer straight away. It was in terrible condition, but we could see past that." 

They decided to take on an entire household renovation project including changing the floor plan, removing and replacing the entry stairs, and excavating the whole garden.

Read more: Ikea hack: Woman creates chic kitchen drinks station using £40 blinds

Bedroom before and after. (Supplied)
Bedroom before and after. (Supplied)

But the project didn't come without problems. 

“ When the builders first started, they lifted the floor to find barely any foundations and an awful lot of damp," Archer continues.  

"They had to relay the foundations throughout the whole flat. We extended the master bedroom and created the en-suite by combining three small awkward spaces into one.  

"We had to add several structural steel changes in order to create the en-suite and the large open-plan living area.” 

The kitchen after renovations. (Supplied)
The kitchen after renovations. (Supplied)

Alongside soundproofing the ceiling to keep out noise from upstairs neighbours, the duo also laid underfloor heating in every room.

The renovation project took nine months to complete and cost approximately £650,000 - a huge sum. But according to a household valuation, the home is now worth almost double what Jess and Jen paid for the flat pre-COVID.

Watch: If you've bought a fixer-upper, here's the areas to focus on. 

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