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DI-WHY? £45,000 spent on home improvements over a lifetime

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The average Brit will shell out a staggering £45,000 over their lifetime – on home improvements, according to a study. Researchers found the astronomical bill for making our home perfect includes everything from renovations and repair to general decorating.

The study found we spend £5,420.40 on the living room alone and another £14,925.80 collectively on the family bathrooms.

It also emerged the kitchen is the one room people will spend the most on – outlaying £2,183.72 per house, or a total of £10,918 across five family homes.

Brits are spending a staggering £9,041.81 on basic decorating, renovating, repairs and general upkeep per house they live in.

And as the average person buys their first home aged 30, and moves at least five times before settling in their last abode, that equates to a collective total of £45,209.05.

A spokesperson for Government approved body NAPIT, a membership and training provider for 10,000 trade installers across the UK, said:

“The final bill of over £45,000 doesn’t even take into consideration additional monies spent on things like knocking through rooms, building extensions, or converting rooms, so in truth we suspect many people are actually spending several thousands of pounds more.

“But the research highlights just how much people are spending on the basic upkeep and redecoration of their homes – even the cost of paint, electrical work, flooring, fixtures and fittings soon adds up.

“This is especially true around Christmas, when the cost of those ‘extra special touches’ to the decorating can run into the hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

“There is a lot to be said for creating a home which feels truly yours, where each room screams of your personality and you walk in feeling completely comfortable – many people would say this is well worth the money.”

The study shows the average person will decorate most rooms in the house at least twice before being happy with the result.

The living room is decorated to the tune of £542.02 each time owners fancy a change, which is a total of £1,084.08 spent in each house or a collective figure of £5,420.40.

While each of the three bedrooms will be spruced up to a cost of £383.74 every time, meaning homeowners will spend £11,512.22 painting and decorating the sleeping quarters in total.

A further £2,985.44 is spent on fixing up bathrooms and toilets per house, while £486.41 goes towards the improvement of other rooms such as the dining room, study or utility room.

Researchers found the average person claims their current home is only 56% perfect so far, as they have a lot more work to do.

Jobs which need tending to straight away include fixing leaks in the bathroom, updating the kitchen with new appliances and worktops, fixing loose tiles and sorting out exposed electrical wires.

When embarking on these types of home improvements only 17% of people would tackle the problems themselves – a third would hire a professional, while 49% would attempt what they could and hire a tradesman to finish the job.

As the study shows, 15% of people will try their hand at a little electrical work, a fifth will tackle the plumbing and one in 20 will try to replace a boiler themselves.

The spokesperson for NAPIT continues:

“It’s understandable that householders want to keep the costs of home improvement down by embarking on projects and attempting the work themselves. However, they have to put safety first. It is shocking that people would consider taking on things like electrical and gas work themselves!

“Householders also need to make sure they are aware of the Building Regulations and know that the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) has to be notified of certain projects.

“If you attempt the work yourself and it does not meet the right standards, you could be fined up to £5,000 per item not complying, not to mention the costly process putting right any work that is wrong or dangerous because if not it may be difficult to sell your home in future. Most importantly, you could be putting your life and your family’s life at risk.

“We would strongly recommend any homeowner to use a competent, registered installers when attempting more complex home improvements.”

A resounding 84% of people believe that even brand new homes need a bit of tender loving care – as while they provide a perfectly blank canvas, money still needs to be spent on stamping personality on the house.

Just a third of people surveyed got to the point of perfection with their last house before deciding to give up and move on.

Sadly, the truth is that two thirds of homeowners actually work more on a house and spend more on its upkeep when preparing to move.


Average person moves every 10 years

For each house

Living room – decorated 2 times – 542.04 x 2 = 1,084.08

Kitchen – decorated 2 times – £1,091.86 x 2 = 2,183.72

3 bedrooms – each decorated 2 times = 6 times – £383.74 x 6 = 2,302.44

2 bathrooms – each decorated 2 times = 4 times – £746.29 x 4 =2,985.16

Dining room/study/utility room total spend = 486.41

Total spend every 10 years = £9,041.81

Assuming average first time homeowner is 30 years old – (Halifax 2012) – they will own a house for 50.5 years = 5 houses lived in.

5 x 9,041.81 = £45,209.05