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The Most Stressful Room to Renovate Has Been Revealed

builder working on renovation project
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The kitchen is the most stressful room to renovate in a house, according to new research. 

This is the view of almost half (49%) of 1,003 survey respondents who completed a large-scale renovation in the last five years.

Toolstation undertook research on homeowners who’d recently spent time renovating a house to glean insights on the decisions they made, and which elements of their projects were more successful than others. 

Often regarded as the heart of house, the kitchen was regarded the most stressful room to renovate for close to half of respondents. 

“This could be due to several reasons - from the amount of equipment, accessories and utensils that need to be packed up, to the loss of cooking facilities and disrupted routines around work and school,” Toolstation said. “This could especially be the case for young families.”

The bathroom (22%) was the second-most stressful room to renovate, a primary reason for which could have been due to plumbing issues, such as being without a toilet/bath/shower.

What Would Renovators do Differently?

A total of 86% said their renovation provided satisfying results, but the research also uncovered several takeaways of what renovators would do differently. 

On average, the cost of a renovation went £3,204 over budget and took three months longer than expected to complete. London was the city to have the highest cost spill over cost of £4,378. 

‘Underestimated the likelihood of problems arising that require more time and money’ was the biggest regret for 31% of respondents. Meanwhile, 60% said their finances were significantly affected during the renovation process.

Understanding house renovation costs is pivotal before beginning a project, and it’s important to note that older properties often conceal potentially pricey issues that might not be immediately obvious.

Meanwhile, 27% said their biggest renovation regret was continuing to live at home while work was being done. If you plan to live on site during an upcoming project, try these 5 tips for living on site while renovating.

The most stressful rooms to renovate, as reported by Toolstation:

  1. Kitchen (49%)
  2. Bathroom (22%)
  3. Living room (9%)
  4. Bedroom (4%)
  5. Dining room (3%)
  6. Conservatory (3%)

Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms. 


He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.