– Almost three quarters (72%) of UK homeowners embarked upon ‘do it yourself’ home improvement projects during the lockdown
– New research shows that 1 in 3 (33%) people have left DIY work unfinished, with many now facing the financial consequences
– Nearly a third of respondents (31%) say they are likely to bring in a professional to correct or improve their lockdown DIY efforts
– Dissatisfied Brits are expected to spend an average of £552 dealing with mishaps
Nearly a third of UK adults (31%) who have tried their hand at DIY since lockdown began in March are planning to call in a professional to correct, improve or complete projects.
An estimated 10.8 million households, or 72% of UK homeowners, made use of the extra time at home during lockdown to undertake DIY home improvements, according to a recent study by Confused.com.
However, new research by Shawbrook Bank, Personal Loans Division has found that as many as one in three (33%) DIY projects have been abandoned.
Shawbrook interviewed 1,500 UK adults who have undertaken DIY projects since the UK entered lockdown on March 23rd 2020.
As restrictions continue to ease, almost a third (31%) of respondents said it was ‘likely’ they will pay for a professional to come into improve, correct, or complete work they’ve carried out themselves.
More than a third (34%) of respondents said that other priorities had got in the way of work being completed, with 1 in 5 (20%) claiming that they became overwhelmed by the extent of work involved. A further 20% said that budget restrictions were the main reason they weren’t able to finish the project.
Despite many Brits admitting to leaving work unfinished, the majority of people (85%) surveyed said they were satisfied with the results. In contrast, those who were less pleased are now paying the price with an average bill of £552 to have the issues rectified.
The majority (54%) of Brits surveyed undertook relatively modest projects such as decorating or laying flooring, while more than one in four (26%) opted for small scale activities such as putting together furniture. Fewer people (15%) embarked on more ambitious projects, such as renovating an entire room in their house.
While existing savings (61%) were the most popular means of funding home improvements or the cost of correcting any work, nearly one in ten (9%) chose a personal loan and 6% decided on a new overdraft facility or overdraft extension.
Chris Rice, a DIY expert and 36-year career builder, commented: “We’ve already been getting calls from lockdown DIYers in need of help. Most recently was a gentleman who had attempted to convert a flat roof above his property into a roof garden and caused a leak by nailing things in incorrectly. Another attempted to fix a leak in his shower and almost flooded the floor below.
“If you do need to get someone in to help out, then it’s of the upmost importance you and any contractor respect social distancing guidelines. Always insist that anyone coming into your home washes their hands immediately and wears a face covering.
“It’s also worth noting that sourcing materials remains a challenge. Plaster and paint has caused the main issues, but smaller things like door hinges and handles have been much harder to get hold of too. While these uncertain times continue, waiting times are likely to be that bit longer and more unpredictable. If that is the case for you, unfortunately your contractor may not always be able to guarantee an end date for work.”
Paul Went, Managing Director, Consumer at Shawbrook Bank, sets out some top tips for financing DIY home improvements:
- Set yourself a clear budget and think carefully about all the costs involved. Allow a contingency plan for any aspects that may not go quite to plan
- Get more than just one quote for materials or tools, as you’ll be able to get a better understanding of what’s a fair price to pay
- Explore different financing options to decide which option is best for you, it could be through savings, a personal loan, or other forms of credit
- If borrowing money, shop around to find the best interest rates and keep in mind how potential changes may affect your costs in the long-term. The impact of Covid-19 on the UK economy and household finances means that lenders may be more cautious in the current climate, so it’s worth taking time to find a rate that’s right for you so that you can manage your repayments
- For large scale projects, seek a professional valuation to help understand what the potential return on investment might be from the renovations you have planned.
Went comments: “The majority of Brits have been pleased with the outcome of their DIY efforts since lockdown began. But our study does show that plenty of projects were left unfinished and people have now decided to get a little extra help from the professionals to get them over the line, and make sure they get the outcome that they wanted.
“No matter how straightforward a project may seem there can be complications or reasons why people aren’t able to finish the work themselves. It’s therefore a good idea to approach any work with careful planning and a contingency plan in case you need to inject some extra cash into getting the project finished to your satisfaction.
“To maximise return on investment and avoid overstretching your finances, you want to minimise any unexpected costs by setting out a clear and realistic cost plan. If a project looks set to go over budget, explore all your options before deciding how you will finance any overspend. If you don’t have savings to dip into, decisions around borrowing should never be rushed – research all the avenues thoroughly and shop around to make sure you’re getting the absolute best deal for you.”
The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.
Our consumer survey was conducted by 3GEM Research & Insights and was undertaken between Tuesday 14th July and 16th July 2020.
The sample was 1,500 UK adults who have undertaken DIY projects since the UK went into lockdown on 23rd March 2020.
Shawbrook is a specialist UK savings and lending bank founded in 2011 to serve the needs of SMEs and individuals in the UK with a range of lending and saving products.
For further information contact:
Head of Consumer Finance
020 326 9925
07471 350 810
0203 326 9902
 3GEM Research & Insights survey of 1,500 homeowners who undertaken DIY since the UK went into lockdown on 23 March 2020