Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Doing it themselves: Nearly half of brits have made improvements to their homes during lockdown

Published: 30 July 2020 - Neil Mead

Research by new bank Zopa reveals nearly half of Brits (43%) have made home improvements during or after lockdown and a further 44% plan to by the end of the year.


A new study has found that 2020 is going to be a bumper year for home improvements, as 43% of households turned their hand to DIY during lockdown and 44% plan to by the end of the year.

The research by new digital bank Zopa, found that Brits making improvements to their homes this year estimate an average spend of £3,169 across all of 2020, up 13% compared to last year.

Lockdown has been a major catalyst, with the most common motivations cited by households being finally having the time to get around to them (35%), becoming bored of their surroundings (24%) and realising the importance of outdoor space (20%).

It’s perhaps no surprise then that the most common home improvements have been gardening (77%) and improving outdoor living areas (64%).

Home entertainment has also been high on the agenda, with over one in ten (12%) planning to entertain in their gardens more in light of recent circumstances. In fact, 8% of pub loving Brits have built their own bars in their homes or gardens across lockdown, spending an average of £1,500* in the process.

And although restrictions are lifting and offices reopening, 12% say they plan to work from home more in the future, so want to improve their working conditions. The top additions for those improving their workspaces were buying new plants (72%), new seating (69%), a new desk (64%) and better broadband (63%).

This surge in home investment has come at a time when consumers are re-evaluating their spending and saving habits. While the majority of home improvements made in lockdown were covered by general savings (58%), over a quarter (27%) have used savings made from reduced outgoings during lockdown and nearly a fifth (18%) have reallocated savings meant for holidays, weddings and birthdays into improving their homes.

These improvements are expected to continue, with over two-fifths (35%) now creating renovation specific savings goals over one to five years. On average, Brits plan to put aside £2,822 by the end of the year, and £7,068 by 2025.

Clare Gambardella, Zopa’s Chief Customer Officer, commented: “Throughout the last few months, many of us have spent an increased amount of time in our homes and have subsequently invested money on home improvements. Although lockdown is easing, many believe it will have an impact on our socialising and working habits for some time to come so it’s no surprise that people plan to continue improving their homes. We’ve recently launched Zopa bank to help people achieve their financial goals, whether that’s saving or borrowing in order to bring plans to life, we are here to help.”

The most common home improvements during lockdown have been:

Gardening (77%)
Enhancing outside living areas (64%)
Repainting walls (63%)
Updating soft furnishings (54%)
Increasing / organising storage space (42%)
Purchasing new furniture (40%)
Upgrading at-home workspaces (35%)
Replacing appliances (30%)
Fitting new flooring (29%)
Bathroom renovation (29%)

Follow Zopa’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information.


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