And with 15 million homeowners (85%) having some form of outdoor space around their property, £14billion was spent on gardens in the last year alone.
With the average UK garden now worth £1928, one in 10 Britons admits to spending money on their gardens as they can’t afford to move home, while a third of homeowners say spending a lot of time outside is the main reason for splashing out.
Garden Values is the first part of the bi-annual Britain at Home report from Lloyds TSB Insurance, designed to build a comprehensive picture of British home life and spending priorities by shining a Continue reading
This simple but life-saving task is often forgotten, and by linking it to the task of changing the time on clocks, cookers, heating systems and watches, we want to encourage more people to test their smoke alarm and give themselves the time they need to get out, stay out and call 999.
•you’re more than 4 times more likely to die in a domestic fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm
•15 children died in accidental fires last year, among a total 7,256 injuries and 187 deaths from dwelling fires across the country
•over half the people who Continue reading
The measures will also ensure that householders have a financial safety net in place such as a guarantee or insurance, to catch them if self-check installers fail to finish work properly or if they can’t be chased through the courts.
Around 85,000 complaints are made about building work in homes each year according to the Office of Fair Trading.
Current self-check schemes have conditions in place to keep the cowboys out. Today’s proposals will further protect people from shoddy work and raise the bar for self-check tradesmen.
Organisations running self-check schemes will now:
need to be accredited to an international quality standard in order to Continue reading
According to the findings of a study by Santander insurance, Britons spent a staggering £5.2 billon on garden improvements during the summer of 2010 – 2011.
This equates to £1,280 per average British garden lover, with the survey estimating the improvements have added an average of £3,300 to the value of their home as a result.
Whether you have a cosy courtyard or a generous-sized garden – making the most of any outdoor space could also increase your chances of selling.
A few simple and inexpensive tricks will help create a fabulous outdoor room, according to independent estate Continue reading
There was a fall of 17% in real terms (i.e. after allowing for inflation) from the total of £9.4 billion spent in 2010.
Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, commented:
“Consumers have been experiencing the biggest squeeze on their discretionary income for over a year. Couple that with a very subdued housing market, and it is unsurprising that so many are cutting back on home improvements. With economic conditions expected to remain challenging, the current squeeze on spending on both DIY and tradesmen is likely to continue for some time yet."
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Half of UK householders (52%) plan to spend time over the bank holidays this spring making home improvements.
The research, which questioned householders and property valuation experts, also revealed the smaller jobs around the house which can help homeowners to sell their property.
More than half (60%) of property valuers said that the number one way to increase a property’s chance of selling quickly, and for a healthy price, was to de-clutter. Cutting the grass and repairing paint chips will also improve house-selling prospects.
However, over two thirds (69%) of homeowners thought cleaning the windows would be worthwhile, compared to just 44% of the Continue reading
While some home improvements may add value to a home – provided they are carried out safely and to a high standard – others could actually hinder a sale, and see sellers themselves forking out for repairs.
It is estimated that 13 per cent of all DIY projects undertaken will go wrong in some way, resulting in Brits having to cough up a collective £169 million to sort the problems out.
Estate agents Harrison Murray has a few tips for homeowners to follow to help them avoid become one of the statistics!
Managing director Nick Salmon said: Continue reading
Only 15% of people check their chimney stack on the monthly basis that surveyors recommend, and 21% admit they’ve never checked this area of the house. Defective stacks can lead to damp problems in your home and cost up to £1000 to fix. And one in ten UK homeowners never check their roof for signs of slipping or missing roof tiles, leaving themselves at risk of a hefty repair bill of up to £5000 if a problem went untreated.
So Aviva is calling on homeowners to carry out their very own home "MOT" this weekend to ensure that common problems beyond the Continue reading
Overall, expenditure on home maintenance (DIY and tradesmen’s services) has fallen by 9% over the past year, from £17.8billion in 2009 to £16.2billion in 2010. Expenditure on tradesmen’s services declined by 3% over the same period from £6.9billion to £6.7billion.
Over the past decade, UK households have increasingly looked to undertake home maintenance themselves instead of paying for tradesmen’s services. In 2000, UK households spent 7% more in real terms on hiring tradesmen than DIY. By the end of the decade, however, this trend had been reversed as households spent 41% more on DIY than on hiring tradesmen in 2010.
And while DIY Continue reading
The survey, commissioned by comparison website Gocompare, revealed that 32% of Brits said they really needed to make some cutbacks to make ends meet.
Not carrying out home maintenance and renovation projects were identified as areas where savings could be made.
The survey also found that to reduce outgoings, 8%t of people would consider not renewing their home buildings insurance and another 8% would consider not renewing their insurance for their home contents.
Phil Paterson-Fox, Gocompare.com’s head of home services, said: "In the current economic environment it is a good idea to review your finances and cut back on unnecessary spending – but it Continue reading