Swindon electrical wholesaler answers some of 2023’s frequently searched home improvement questions


By Barrie Hudson – 20 December 2023


As 2023 draws to a close, Swindon’s Grant & Stone Electrical Wholesalers is revealing some of the most searched for home improvement questions over the last 12 months.

Branch manager Ollie Leivers said: “It’s fascinating to see the most sought-after home improvement questions of 2023, and it demonstrates the enthusiasm and curiosity of our local residents to enhance their living spaces. 

“We have a great deal of knowledge in our team, and we’re delighted to help by providing answers and guidance.”

The most common questions include:

– What are some easy DIY projects for beginners?

Start with small, manageable projects such as painting a room, tiling a backsplash or assembling flat-pack furniture. These projects allow beginners to build confidence and skills before tackling more significant renovations.

– What home improvement projects are illegal to do yourself?

In accordance with building regulations, some home renovation jobs are only permitted to be carried out by certified professionals. This includes gas and electrical work, such as fitting a new cooker, fuse box or circuits. These are legally required to be completed or checked by a registered electrician or Gas Safe registered engineer. 

– How do I make my home more energy efficient?

According to the 2023 edition of Rated People’s annual Home Improvement Trends Report, solar panels and new/extra insulation are now among the top 20 home improvements that buyers are looking for – these can reduce energy bills and increase the overall value of a property. Smaller changes, like LED light bulbs and draught fixes, also help save money and are environmentally responsible. 

– What is the best time to start a home renovation?

This depends on the job. Spring and summer are popular for outdoor projects, while interior renovations can be done year-round. Plan ahead to ensure materials and tradespeople are available when needed.

– How much does a home renovation cost?

Costs vary based on project complexity and materials. A facelift may cost a few hundred pounds, while a major overhaul can reach tens of thousands. For reference, a new bathroom is approximately £6,000, a new kitchen £8,000, loft conversions start from £30,000, a new boiler around £2,700, and central heating at approximately £4,000. To gauge costs accurately, set a budget and obtain quotes from trusted tradespeople.

– Do you need planning permission to build a garden office?

With more people working from home, this is a frequently searched question. Ollie Leivers said: “Whether a garden office requires planning permission or not varies and is based on size, location, and use. 

“Smaller spaces may qualify under permitted development rights, while larger or commercial structures might require planning consent. Consult a planning expert due to the intricacy of rules.”

– Do you need planning permission for a loft conversion?

Loft conversions typically require planning permission when altering the roof’s profile or adding dormer windows; however, there are building regulations that need to be adhered to. Due to the complexity of a loft conversion, it’s essential to check with your local planning authority first and use professional tradespeople. 

– Are bathroom renovations worth the money?

In the Rated People’s Home Improvement Trends Report, a new bathroom was second on the list of the top 10 most in-demand renovation projects, ahead of kitchens in eighth. A well-designed bathroom can increase your home’s value by between 3% and 5%.

Ollie Leivers said: “Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or planning a substantial renovation, it’s crucial to be well-informed. We understand that home improvement projects can be daunting, and we are here to provide the advice, materials, and support to make sure you project goes to plan.”


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