home improvements

Many of us have spent more time at home over the last year than ever anticipated and spending on home improvements has continued to soar according to research by Powered Now, with 48% of the UK spending a staggering £110.3bn on home improvements.

This was an average of £2,011 per person with the most popular projects being home offices, gyms, and general refreshes. The research also showed that the spending signalled a 29.7% increase as compared to 2019 data by Zopa which reported UK expenditure of £83bn on home improvements.

Home improvements headline stats

  • 23% of Brits (5,055,000) employed painters and decorators;
  • 15% (3,229,000) employed a tradesperson for bathroom improvement/renovation;
  • 14% (2,936,000) undertook a roofing job;
  • 13% (2,765,000) employed a tradesperson for a kitchen replacement/renovation;
  • 7% (1,513,000) had hired a tradesperson to build an outhouse/shed;
  • 4% (818,000) had a tradesperson/builder for an extension; and
  • 3% (696,000) had a home gym installed by a tradesperson.

Why are homeowners looking to improve their homes?

From previous research published last year by Comparethemarket.com, the main reasons why homeowners committed to home improvements were:

  • 58% did so in favour of moving up the housing ladder;
  • 27% cited cheaper costs; and
  • 20% wanted to increase the value of their home.

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’.

Ben Dyer, chief executive officer of Powered Now, said:

The news that consumer spending is through the roof directly correlates from what we have seen on the ground. We have witnessed tradespeople experiencing their highest client demand ever during 2020, and these figures are very much in line with what we would have expected.

If you look to the hardware retailers that were allowed to remain open when other non-essential retail wasn’t, they have performed so incredibly, further indicating the desire people have had for home improvements.

Of course, there are other factors too. The stamp duty holiday has had a huge trickle-down impact for the rest of the trades. Whether it be people looking to renovate after their home moves, or potential sellers giving a new lick of paint to try and squeeze any additional value to their house, tradespeople have been inundated as a result. Despite the initial lockdown bringing the industry to a standstill, the economic bounce-back has been quite remarkable.

Consumer Protection

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 even fully insured. Therefore, we would always recommend homeowners check online reviews and check that tradespeople are fully accredited, insured, and have a proper complaints and dispute procedure in place should anything go wrong.