skip to main content
Find Insight DIY on
* * *


Brits Deck The Halls With Festive Home Improvement Frenzy

Shopping trolley DIY shutterstock_121625722 725 x 500.jpg

With Brits expected to spend £4.5 billion shopping by the first Saturday of December, £29.6 Billion is set to be lavished on home improvements - not on presents under the tree - according to new research from AA Financial Services.

The new homeowner research dispels the myth that Brits wait until the summer months to improve their homes – as a festive DIY stampede is on the cards as people get their homes ready for family visits and entertaining over the festive season. Overall, almost half of homeowners (49%) are planning a home improvement project before Santa comes to town – and will draw an average of £2,339.46 from their savings to fund it, most people are raiding their nest eggs rather than borrowing money to fund their festive projects

Concluding its year-long study of the house moving and home improving habits of British adults, AA Financial Services asked a national representative sample of 2,038 UK homeowners what, if any, home improvement projects they planned before the end of the year, what they planned to spend - and where the money would come from.

The most popular festive improvements
The paint brushes and dust sheets will be out in force in the weeks ahead with 41% of homeowners planning some last-minute decorating before the tree goes up. At a time of year when gardeners are less in demand, 18% of respondents said they will be commissioning landscaping projects to get their garden and drive in shape for 2019. And for 12% of respondents, getting the kitchen upgraded was the top priority, even if it added to the domestic chaos during the Christmas countdown.

The projects attracting the biggest spend
The average planned spend on work relating to an extension was £12,902 – with 15% spending more than £20,000. Plumbing and insulation work attracted significant spend for those getting their home ready for the winter chill. The research also gave an early indication that the evolving interest in electric cars will have a profound effect on home improvement spend in the future. Whilst only 3% of respondents said they planned to install an electric car charges in their property, the scale of spend was second only to major building projects (£3,479).

Where the money is coming from
Improvements around the home are never cheap, especially at this time of year. When asked how they plan to fund home improvements, people were more likely to draw on their savings (49%) than to rely on finance (17%). Interestingly, those looking for unsecured finance were three times more likely to say they would max out their credit card rather than apply for a personal loan at a much more competitive APR.

Families, those with greater and varied pressures on their disposable income, were more likely to borrow to fund home improvements - with parents of bigger families (households with three or more children) more likely to rely on store finance.

Home improvements before Christmas
The projects and spend levels for people planning home improvements during the final three months of 2018.

Improvement project(s) planned over the next 3 months

 /live/news/wysiwyg/The AA.JPG

David Searle, the AA’s Director of Financial Services commented: “The nation’s obsession with home improvements is no longer a seasonal past-time for the summer months. The trend for retail sales before Christmas could have an enduring impact not just on Christmas shopping but home improvements too.”

“For many homeowners, home improvement projects make sound financial sense as they can tangibly improve the value of a property.

“For those seeking finance, we highly recommend that people shop around for a good deal and consider the benefits of a competitively priced loan over a credit card. This will help mitigate against financial pain when January’s credit card bill hits the doormat and be less of a strain on monthly disposable income.

“Our research also suggests many people don’t want to turn to their bank for a loan. The good news here, is that there are many other lenders in the market. AA Financial Services offers a range of lending, savings and insurance products that can help people to lower the cost of running a home.

“As one of the UK’s most trusted brands we encourage homeowners to challenge us to see how we can help them save money – or make it go further.”

Challenge the AA to help you reduce the cost of your mortgage at

For AA Personal Loans visit:

The consumer poll was conducted by YouGov for The AA among a GB nat rep sample of 2,038 adults in October 2018.

Source : The AA

For all the very latest news and intelligence on the UK's largest home improvement and garden retailers, sign up for the Insight DIY weekly newsletter.



30 November 2018

Related News

view more UK DIY News

I find the news and articles they publish really useful and enjoy reading their views and commentary on the industry. It's the only source of quality, reliable information on our major customers and it's used regularly by myself and my team.

Simon Fleet - Sales & Marketing Director, Thomas Dudley Ltd

Don't miss out on all the latest, breaking news from the DIY industry