Many of us have spent more time at home this year than ever anticipated. But what does that mean for the sector? Will homeowners become more DIY savvy and do home improvements themselves? Or are they looking to hire accredited tradesmen to do larger renovations? Or instead, will homeowners move? Or will they stay put? Research reveals some interesting insights into the spending habits of homeowners and what we might be able to expect over the coming year.
Home renovations statistics
Data from Barclaycard revealed that in July home improvement and DIY rose by 27.1% as homeowners continued to carry out renovations.  With 32% of homeowners currently planning to undertake a renovation, statistics reveal the projects in demand are :
- 15% – cosmetic changes and general interior design
- 15% – complete repaint (external and/or internal)
- 63% – new kitchen
- 53% – new bathroom
- 69% – new external space/building an outhouse
- 91% – loft extension
- 51% – new office
- 12% – ground floor extension
- 12% – conservatory
- 88% – new bedroom
- 88% – side/rear extension
- 26% – new roof
- 95% – new home gym
- 63% – basement conversion
Further research into the home improvement sector over the last 12 months also revealed that 6 in 10 (62%) of homeowners have already made home improvements, spending an average of £3,000 on the work. 
Why are homeowners looking to improve their home?
The research also investigated reasons why homeowners committed to home improvements. Of those surveyed, 58% did so in favour of moving up the housing ladder, 27% cited cheaper costs, 20% wanted to increase the value of their home. 
The impact of the UK lockdown on the home improvement industry
But how has the UK lockdown affected homeowners and the industry? 39% said that lockdown has been the main driver to either move or make improvements. A further 36% said that the decision was a result of spending more time at home which made them notice that their home needed home improvements. 24% said spending more time at home caused a general ‘wear and tear’. 
Green Homes Grant Scheme
The impending Green Homes Grant Scheme is due to go live in September which is predicted to have quite a large impact on the industry. As part of investment in a ‘green recovery’, homeowners and landlords in England will be able to apply for vouchers from a £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme to make over 600,000 homes more energy-efficient and create local jobs. Installing energy saving measures will help homeowners with lower energy bills whilst also helping the environment.
Tradespeople who want to install under the scheme must be TrustMark accredited, and also, MCS certified for heat pump and solar thermal installations. To find out more about the requirements and the scheme in general please click here.
With all these home improvements being made and with more on the horizon, we can’t help but wonder how many homeowners look for that extra layer of protection when choosing their tradespeople. It was found that only 21% checked whether their contractor was fully insured.
Consumer protection schemes DGCOS, HIES and HICS provide FREE insurance backed guarantees and stage payment and deposit protection to consumers that use one of their members as a basic minimum. This means that consumers have that extra peace of mind, plus all members are fully vetted and accredited.
 Source: Barclaycard