Given the upcoming hikes in energy prices, it’s no surprise many of those planning renovations are considering how to make their homes more efficient, and cheaper to run. TaskRabbit reports demand for smart home installations up 66 per cent on last year, and window-sealing requests are up by 111 per cent.
“Sustainability is very much driving the way forward and we’re seeing an increased trend and focus towards Passive housing,” says Tom Rutt, who is working on homes in London and the Cotswolds designed for super-low energy use, incorporating extensive insulation and air-source heat pumps. “This will start to become the standard,” he predicts, “and hopefully technological improvements will further increase the efficiency of how we use energy in our homes.” The popularity of pre-owned and ex-display kitchens looks set to continue this year, too.
Retailer Used Kitchen Exchange (usedkitchenexchange.co.uk) saw a 67 per cent surge in sales last year, which its founder, Helen Lord, attributes to “a massive shift change in environmental awareness post Covid, coupled with changes in shopping habits helped by increased confidence in buying higher cost items online”. It’s a savvy way to get a designer look at a fraction of the cost, too: buying a second-hand kitchen can save you up to 80 per cent on the price if it were new.
Kitchen and bathroom companies are also reporting that customers are asking for water- and energy-saving kitchen and bathroom fittings, such as shower heads, taps and lavatories. BD Designs has reported a trend for metal baths which it attributes to a variety of reasons – more hygienic, help to keep water hotter for longer, more hardwearing than acrylic baths, and can also eventually be recycled.