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According to the annual Houzz and Home study, Australian homeowners are more likely to renovate than build new, and more inclined to upgrade their home’s aesthetics and functionality rather than improve its environmental footprint.

Laying claim to be the largest survey of residential renovating, building and decorating activity conducted in Australia, the 2015 Houzz and Home survey gathered information from 13,000 Australian homeowners who are registered with the online renovation and design platform.

From the results it clear that most surveyed are renovators not new home builders, and that most renovations carried out in 2014 were either a living room or kitchen alteration. While these jobs are unlikely to call the need for professional designer – only 12 per cent and nine per cent of those surveyed hired an architect or building designer respectively—custom home builds are a different story.

Nearly all homeowners who built a custom home hired professional help, and architects (33%), interior designers (20%) and building designers (33%) were among the top hired professionals.

Read the summary below for more insights:


Over three in four homeowners renovated their homes in 2014 and/or had plans to do so in 2015. In comparison only one in eight was building and/or had plans to build a custom home in 2014 and/or 2015.


According to the report, aesthetics, functionality and increasing resale value are the three top drivers for Australian homeowners carrying out renovations. On average, respondents considered the integration of green and sustainable materials in their home as 6.4 out of 10 in terms of importance, while the integration of smart technology received a four out of 10 importance rating. 

Living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms top the list of interior renovations for 2014.



Nine in 10 homeowners renovated their homes with professional help in 2014 and while the majority hired an electrician, plumber or home builder, architects and building designers also earned some work from alterations and additions projects.


When it comes to building a custom home, architects and building designers share an even split of the projects and are far more frequently hired than for renovations. While home builders are still the go to trade for custom homes – 63 per cent of custom home builders hired one—66 per cent of respondents said they hired either an architect or building designer to aid with their build.


Good reviews or recommendations are the most important factor when choosing a service provider, followed by good communication/organisation skills and experience with projects of similar scope. While Millennial homeowners generally align with other generations on hiring criteria, they are almost three times more likely than younger Baby Boomers to base hiring on the lowest cost bid.



Over half of respondents plan to continue or start renovations in 2015. Nearly half of homeowners plan to decorate. Almost nine in 10 plan to hire professional help for their projects.

Download the full report here.