Majority of Brits not spending enough on home maintenance

Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2021


To maintain your home's worth, experts recommend that you should spend the equivalent of 1% of your property's value on its upkeep each year. Current average house prices in the UK stand at £255k, meaning that an annual budget of £2,550 would be correct in this instance.

However, according to a new study from ScS, 75% of the nation spend less than this amount. In fact, 56% spend under £1,000 each year and 17% splash out less than £250.

Surprisingly, carpets were found to be the area least likely to be upgraded (36%) despite them being a key feature in the home.

The amount Brits invest in their homes differs greatly. Only 1% of homeowners are seen spending over £50,000 annually on their home, with another 1% spending nothing on home upkeep a year. Whereas 6% of Brits spend, a somewhat more reasonable, £10,000 on upgrades in their homes, bringing the average spend to £3,400 per year.

Interestingly, men spend over 50% more than women each year on home improvements. While male homeowners invest £4,175 every 12 months, women spend just £2,746.

Age also seems to be a factor in how much is spent on the home. Millennials (age 25-34) are the most likely to invest in their properties, with 43% spending over the recommended amount and their average being the highest of all the generations, standing at £6,574.

House-proud millennials are also the most likely age group to spend over £50,000, whilst 45-54-year-olds have the tightest pockets and are the most likely to spend nothing on their home.

The research also explored which DIY jobs Brits were most willing and reluctant to spend money on. Jobs that were most likely to be put off were replacing carpets (36%) and repainting the outside of the house (32%).

In contrast, more extreme home changes were higher up on the to-do list. Room conversions (13%) and adding built-in wardrobes (13%) were seen as higher priorities for Brits in terms of home improvements.

The top 10 home updates that Brits are most likely to put off doing are:

1: Replacing Carpets - 36%

2: Re-painting the exterior of the house - 32%

3: Re-painting the interior of the house - 30%

4: Replacing the boiler - 28%

5: Replacing kitchen units - 28%

6: New wallpaper - 24%

7: New windows - 24%

8: Replacing bathroom fittings - 24%

9: Replacing central heating - 24%

10: New skirting boards - 23%

Despite Brits being reluctant to carry out these tasks, Bruna Pani, from We Buy Any House, explains why it is important to make sure you do them.

1: Replacing carpets – every 5-15 years, from £31.50 per square metre

“Whether it's due to spills, careless footprints, or just general wear and tear, your carpet will always need replacing in due course. A new carpet can freshen up and revitalise your living space and make your flooring look amazing once again.”

2: Re-painting the exterior – every 5-7 years, from £425

“The exterior of your property is the first thing people notice and can set the tone for guests or potential buyers. It is a relatively straightforward task that can dramatically alter the appearance of your property and improve curb appeal.”

3: Re-painting the interior – every 3-5 years, from £1,550

“Painting your property's interior is great for a fresh feel and a cost-effective way to completely refresh your home. Your lifestyle, family and activities that take place in your house all factor into how frequently it may need a lick of paint.”

Amy Forster, content executive at ScS, said: “We’ve spent far longer in our homes than normal over the last year, so it’s no surprise that we’ve started to notice more wear and tear.

“It’s important to remember just how significant our home environment is, now that our houses have suddenly become offices and schools, as well as our place to relax and unwind.

“Investing in their upkeep and refreshing your living areas is a really valuable exercise, not only for your well-being, but for your house too. It helps keep your home fresh, nice to live in and attractive to buyers, should you wish to move.”

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