• 23 per cent of movers go over budget when redecorating or renovating a new property
  • Homeowners budget £10,040 to complete renovations on new home purchases
  • 30 per cent of young people go over budget on renovation works
  • Londoners are most likely to underestimate costs

New research1 Direct Line Home Insurance reveals approximately half a million homeowners go over budget when redecorating or renovating their new home each year. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of new property owners have faced spiralling costs in an effort to create their dream home in the past five years alone.

Households underestimate the cost of renovations and redecoration by approximately £3.4 billion2 each year, spending an average £7,427 more than they expected - a whopping 278 per cent over budget. Young people are most likely to go over budget on renovations with nearly a third (30 per cent) of 18-34s spending more than they intended to on their new home, compared to just 17 per cent of those aged over 55, although this could largely be down to their lack of experience, or lofty aspirations for their dream property.

The latest available housing market data shows the average house price in the UK has risen to £225,047, up 4.6 per cent (£9,965) in just a year3. With the UK's homeowners having spent an average of £215,079 on new properties over the past five years, buyers set aside on average £10,040 for renovations and redecoration of their new property in the first 12 months, or 4.7 per cent of the purchasing price

The most popular room in a property to renovate within 12 months of buying a new home is the kitchen4, with almost a third (32 per cent) of buyers having put this as their top priority upon moving in. Other popular rooms for major revamps are the bathroom (29 per cent) and living room (17 per cent).

When it comes to redecorating, the living room (43 per cent) and bedrooms (42 per cent) are the most likely to be top of the list for a little TLC, followed by the hallway (35 per cent) and dining room (28 per cent).

It is estimated that homeowners spend an average £5,823 redecorating or remodelling a home before putting it on the market. This looks to be money well spent as estate agents estimate poor décor would put more than a quarter of prospective buyers off putting in an offer. This shouldn't encourage people to decorate on the cheap though as botched jobs account for one in six (17 per cent) property sales being voided or held up. If homeowners are looking to renovate or redecorate before selling their home, the kitchen is a good place to start, as 78 per cent of estate agents5 believe it is the most important room to prospective buyers. This is followed by the living room (18 per cent) and the master bedroom (four per cent).

Dan Simson, head of home insurance at Direct Line, commented: "Making your mark on a new property is all part of the exciting journey to make a house your home. Whether it is your first home, you're upsizing to accommodate a growing family or you're downsizing once the kids have flown the nest, there is likely to be work you want to do to make it your own.

“Many home renovation shows have given people a false impression of the real cost of remodelling a property, so before you bite off more than you can chew it's important to research and price the work accurately, building contingency costs in to the budget, to ensure your home improvements come in on time and meet your expectations.”

When it comes to renovations and redecoration, the jobs movers are most comfortable with tackling themselves are painting (68 per cent), stripping wallpaper (49 per cent) and re-tiling (24 per cent). The research also reveals that women are more likely to reach for the paintbrush (73 per cent vs. 63 per cent) and strip wallpaper (55 per cent vs. 43 per cent), whereas men prefer to tackle the tiling (30 per cent vs. 18 per cent) and carpeting (24 per cent vs. 14 per cent).

Redecorating is not the only job people are willing to take on themselves, one in 20 (five per cent) of those who have bought a house in the last five years said they would consider, or have completed, building an extension or loft conversion without professional help.

Simson continues: “Many homebuyers understandably want to do renovations themselves to save money, but they should be aware that jobs aren't always as simple as they may seem and some even require specific certification or Building Regulations approval, such as rewiring or a loft conversion.

“Before embarking on a major new project, always ensure you make your insurer aware so they can make sure your home is adequately covered.”

Hints and tips when hiring a builder

  • Before work starts householders should inform their insurer the work is taking place, so they can review the policy and make sure the work doesn’t invalidate their cover.
    They will also need to be informed;
    • If the builder will have keys to the property
    • If the property is being left unoccupied
    • If there will be scaffolding up on the property
    • If the security of the property will be compromised at any time during the work e.g. replacing doors and windows
  • Check they have accidental damage cover on their home insurance
  • Ensure the builder is qualified and registered with a recognised governing body
  • Ensure they have a Standard Buildings Contract in place with their builder
  • Make sure the builder has public liability insurance, employers liability insurance and contractors all-risk cover
  • Ensure they have the correct permissions from their local Building Control Officer before starting work, to ensure the renovations meet building and fire regulations
  • Householders should also notify their neighbours of any renovation work, not only to let them know to expect a little more noise than usual, but also in case there are any party walls affected by the work

Regional findings

Regionally, Londoners are the most likely to overspend, as they put aside just £6,278 but end up paying out £11,128 to complete refurbishment work on their properties.

Notes to Editors

1Research carried out by Opinium amongst a nationally representative sample of 2,011 UK adults between 20 to 24 October 2017

2£3.4 billion figure calculated on the basis that 4.4 per cent of British adults overspent on renovating or redecorating their property in the last five years (2.29 million adults). The average amount of overspend was estimated to be £7,427. Over five years this totals £17.01 billion, or £3.4 billion annually.

3Direct Line analysis of HM Land Registry house price data published in the UK House Price Index (HPI) for March 2017 and February 2018, published 18 April 2018

4Of those who have bought a house in the last five years or are currently looking to buy

5Phone research conducted amongst 100 Estate agents across the UK between 9 and 13 October 2017

For further information please contact:

Claire Jarrett
PR Manager
Direct Line Group
Tel: 01651 832 411
Email: claire.jarrett@directlinegroup.co.uk

Antonia Green
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 282 2967
Email: antonia.green@citigatedewerogerson.com

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel, pet and life insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 878 5587 or visiting www.directline.com/home-cover