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Home owners set to spend £6 billion on property upgrades

Home owners set to spend £6 billion on property upgrades

2 November 2014 Email this article

Nearly a third of UK home owners are looking to carry out work on their home in the next three years, with up to £6 billion in projected works planned annually, according to a new study from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

And in good news for the industry, almost 40% of these are set to be major refurbishments, including new kitchens, new bathrooms and home extensions, while smaller works such as loft conversions and conservatories account for 38%. More than one in five home owners (22%) cited that the primary reason for their home improvements is being unable to buy a new home, and thus feeling compelled to upgrade their current space. 

Home owners are putting families first, as wider motivations include planning for having a family, and parents wishing to boost their children’s’ inheritance in future.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, which commissioned the study, said: “We have seen a rising trend of multi-generational households – with grown-up children opting to stay with their parents while they save money for their own homes – this study suggests more than a million home owners across the country want to build extra space as their children are unable to fly the nest.”

The study also shows that when it comes to choosing a builder, one in four home owners feel out of their depth. Word of mouth remains essential, with personal recommendations (82%) cited as the most common way to choose a builder, followed by trade association websites (36%). 

When prioritising how to choose a builder, reliable references comes up top (63%), followed by the cost of the quote (61%), the professional manner when quoting and estimating (59%), whether their firm is a member of a professional trade association (55%). Over half of home owners rate knowledgeability as a top priority when discussing the project (54%). 

The worries that come top of the list when choosing a builder include worrying about being ripped off (55%), worrying they’ll make major mistakes (29%) and fear that the builder will disappear before finishing the project.