An article by Ben Dyer, CEO of Powered Now, has shown that many Brits are unaware of the legalities behind the home improvement boom, that has seen a 26% spike in lockdown-inspired renovations fuelled by TikTok and daytime TV.
30% (8,467,000) of Brits agree that they would like to renovate a property themselves, but do not know about all the relevant rules and regulations.
At the same time, 7% of Brits say that they are living in a dilapidated house because they rushed through a property purchase without having the budget for the required refurbishments.
“Home is now very much where the heart is forced to stay, and as a result the multiple lockdowns have seen restoration steadily become Britain's favourite pastime,” says Duyer. “With the sale of Fixer-Upper properties in the UK 26% higher than they were for the same time in 2020, home restoration has very much fuelled this on-going home improvement boom. Backed by a wave of popular culture programmes such as Homes Under The Hammer and hashtags such as "homerenovation" garnering almost 800 million views on TikTok, this trend is expected to continue. With home renovations so important for many Brits, market-research company Kantar has calculated that £4.94 billion was spent between September and December 2020; £552 million more than in the same period the previous year. But just how clued up are British Fixer-Uppers?”
“Many aspects of home improvement jobs are legally required to be documented and provided with the requisite certification and this documentation is essential to solicitors and conveyancers for the transaction of property sales. Powered Now has found that Brits seeking to refurbish their homes are in fact often unaware of such legal requirements. Powered Now’s new national research has unveiled that 8.4 million Brits wanted to 'fix-up' their homes while being unaware of these legal requirements. As a result, 1.7 million Brits are living in dilapidated or run-down housing because they rushed through a property purchase, and did not sufficiently quantify the budget they required to refurbish their home. For millions of Brits who did designate themselves home improvement projects, 20% of those had to call out a tradesperson to fix their DIY faux pas during lockdown.”
“As known by those in the trades, the 120% Club is referred to those who start work on their properties but require a tradesperson to salvage a DIY project gone badly. This results in the cost being 120% of what it would have been in the first place. According to Which?, the most common botched home jobs that tradespeople in the UK have had to rescue include plumbing, electrical work, white goods installation, carpentry … and tiling.”
“Whilst fixing-up properties may have provided Brits with a great escape from the realities of lockdown, home improvement projects aren't quite as simple as rushing down to the local hardware shop and immediately commencing with a loft conversion. The majority of work needs to be properly surveyed, and for those who don't require a tradesperson to resuscitate their work, thousands of properties in the UK are left half completed and difficult to sell.”
"What our data really shows is that there is a fundamental breakdown in understanding the legalities of our beloved home improvement projects. For those in the 120% Club who have had the dignity-crushing experience of hiring a tradesperson to repair their botched DIY projects, at least they would have had a professional on-hand to provide essential legal documentation. However, for the thousands, if not millions, of others who haven't used a tradesperson, this is where the legal waters are a little murkier.”
“It is absolutely essential that all major work done to a property is done to the correct building regulations standard and properly documented. Often the benefit of working with a professional tradesperson is that all of this is taken care of. However, if major DIY projects are left undocumented, this creates a legal nightmare, especially at the point in which the property in question is subject to sale. This is particularly timely as the Stamp Duty holiday has led to an unrivalled property market boom. With thousands of transactions reportedly scrambling to get over the line, it is essential that for economic stability we educate homeowners more thoroughly on the legal aspects of DIY."
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