To commemorate five years since Kirstie and Phil’s Love It or List It first debuted, we at Insulation Express have watched every single episode of the show, racking up a whopping 21 hours of TV time. In doing so, we can reveal a number of exciting insights about British homeowners.


Through this investigation, our research has uncovered the:

  • Top reasons Brits want to move house
  • UK’s most-loved and despised rooms
  • Average cost of renovating your home
  • Number of Brits that choose to renovate rather than move house
  • Most profitable house renovations to consider


Read on to discover our full findings. 


64% of Brits State ‘Lack of Space’ as the Main Reason for Wanting to Move

Whilst there are a number of reasons why UK households take to property websites and estate agent windows, our analysis of Love It Or List It has uncovered the top reasons Brits want to move.


The number one reason was homeowners wanting more space (64%), followed by their current house having a dysfunctional layout (18%).


Despite Renovating Their House, Over 1/3 of Brits Still End Up Moving House

Although Brits spend on average £54,411 on home renovations, over 1/3 (36%) of Brits still choose to move house. While all these renovations may seem like a wasted effort to some, these improvements can make your house more sellable and profitable.


Even though there may be good reason for wanting to move house, a huge 64% of Britons were persuaded to stay in their current home after refurbishing.


While it could be due to moving costing on average £22,084 (stamp duty and estate agent fees) the reason why 64% of households decided to stay. There’s no doubt that renovations can make your house feel like a home again, giving you more than enough justification for staying.


Room to Improve: 5 Most Popular House Renovations for Brits

Throughout Love it Or List It, it’s clear that Kirstie Allsopp isn’t afraid of knocking down a wall or completely revamping a house. But despite her bravery when it comes to renovations, she always advocates that you should never spend more than what you’ll get back when it comes to selling. 


So, with that in mind, we have uncovered the most popular renovations that Kirstie Allsopp suggested in Love It or List It: 


  1. Creating a large open kitchen diner space - 86% of properties
  2. Adding an additional bathroom, or refurbishing the current bathroom - 64% of properties
  3. Changing the layout of the home - 46% of properties
  4. Adding an extension or converting the loft - 36% of properties
  5. Adding a utility room - 32% of properties


Our research reveals that a whopping 86% of participants either knocked down walls or moved rooms around to create a beautiful open kitchen diner space, indicating it’s the most-popular house renovation. 


Adding an additional bathroom or refurbishing the current bathroom was the second most popular improvement, found in almost 2/3 (64%) of homes on Love It or List It. 


With a ‘lack of space’ being the number one reason for Brits wanting to move home, one of the most-efficient ways to add additional space is through an extension or converting the lofts. However, as these are both expensive renovations, it’s unsurprising that these were only suggested in 36% of the homes that featured on Love It Or List It. 


1/3 (32%) participants added a utility room to their property, making it the fifth most popular renovation. A utility room is particularly desirable for households that will be carrying out more chores, such as families. But they also free up much-needed space in other parts of the home, primarily the kitchen. 


More Than Half (54%) of Home Renovations Go Over Budget

Naturally, homeowners in and outside of Love It Or List It should set a budget when renovating to help reap an investment should they decide to sell the home. 


However, despite good intentions to stay within a budget, often properties run into problems during the build - causing homeowners to go over budget. Or many households choose to extend their budget with a desire to make their house a dream one. 


After analysing every episode of Love it or List, our research uncovered that half (54%) of renovations resulted in going over budget. Surprisingly, only 14% of the participants stayed under budget when renovating their home on Love It or List It. 


Revealed: The Average Home Renovation Goes Over Budget by 19%

Our research uncovered that the average household spends £54,411 on home improvements, which is 19% higher than the average budget they initially set out (£45,768).

The house that spent the most on their renovation was Christine and Tony (series 4, episode 7). They intended to spend £80,000 on refurbishing the house but ended up spending an additional £70,000 totalling £150,000. Most shocking of all, they actually ended up listing their house, suggesting that renovations don’t always result in a happy home. 


The Average Home Renovation Increases Your House Value by £63,000

Whilst not every house featured on the show stated the value added post-refurbishment, from the homeowners that did, the average renovation increased the value of their home by £63,000. Taking into account refurbishment costs, the average profit totalled £13,444. 


The two properties that had the highest return on their investment (Series 2, Episode 3 and Series 3, Episode 4) received a hefty profit of £35,000. However, to make such a high profit, they both invested a lot of money: £60,000 (Series 2, Episode 3) and £95,000 (Series 3, Episode 4). But what unhappy homeowners can take from this is that their main profit came from altering the layout of their homes and moving rooms, in order to fully utilise the space. 


If you consider doing this yourself, take note of how much time you spend in each room and consider what other homeowners may want. A large kitchen is usually a desirable aspect in any home. Can you swap around the kitchen and living room? Or perhaps knock down a wall between the dining room and kitchen to create a larger space? 


Sometimes you can craftily add a new bedroom to a home by dividing one bedroom into two, as long as they’re still good-sized rooms.


Although, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t have to spend a lot on home improvements to get a big profit. One couple (Series 4, Episode 4), only spent £7,000, and focused on renovating their kitchen, as well as repainting. From this they added £20,000 to the value of their home, making a £13,000 profit. This proves you don’t have to completely change your home if you’re planning on selling. A fresh update like a new kitchen, or a lick of paint can add great value. 


Revealed: The Most & Least Used Rooms in British Homes

The property show, Love It or List It, sets up cameras in people’s homes to see where needs improving based on the amount of time spent in each room. From this, we can reveal the most and least used rooms in Brits’ homes:


The Least Used Spaces

  • Dining room - 46% of households spent the least time here
  • Upstairs - 21% of households spent the least time here


One set room for dining is clearly a thing of the past, with 46% of households spending less time in this room than other parts of the house. Participants of the show cited using the dining room as a glorified cupboard, and even as a corridor. But, if Brits aren’t dining - where are they spending their time? 


The Most Used Spaces

  • Living room - 42% of households spent the most time here
  • Kitchen - 33% of households spent the most time here


Despite participants disliking their dining space, Brits clearly still like good food. 33% of contestants spent most of their time in the kitchen, implying if you’re planning on listing your home anytime soon you may want to consider refurbishing your kitchen.


However, the room which Britons really love is the lounge. 42% of households love to relax in their living rooms, spending most of their time here.


How to Sell Your Home & Make a Profit

After watching every single episode of Love It or List It, we’ve learnt a lot about British properties, and what buyers are seeking in a new home. So, if you’re looking to sell your home consider these tips: 

  • Look at adding more space to your property through a loft conversion or extension, as 64% of Brits are seeking more space in their homes.


  • The dining room is the least desirable feature in homes, so think about combining your kitchen with the dining room, by either knocking down a wall or swapping rooms to create the most popular renovation: open kitchen diner space. 


  • However if it’s not possible to create a large kitchen diner space, you can still add great value by refurbishing your kitchen. The kitchen is the second most used room, so this will be a focus for many buyers. Even if you can’t afford a whole new kitchen, you can spruce the space up by painting cupboards and by replacing taps and handles. 


  • If you’re seeking to make as few changes as possible that won’t break the bank, contemplate repainting your home and buying new furniture. One household added £20,000 to the value of their home by just making small changes.