Homeowners failing to budget for DIY projects

Two-thirds of us overspend on home improvements and DIY because we don’t realise the extent of the work required.

And seven out of 10 homeowners don’t even set a budget for the work in the first place, leading to being well out of pocket in the end.

Rated People, the online marketplace that connects homeowners with tradespeople, quizzed its  users on their attitude to home improvements: in the last year alone, 10 million people in the UK have done their own renovations or DIY, in part inspired by the number of TV shows showing exactly how it’s done.

However, most of us aren’t so smart about budgeting for the work we intend to do.

Overspend adds up to £3bn

According to Rated People’s results, 65 percent of Brits have overspent on a DIY project. A fifth (18 percent) end up borrowing money from a loan company to cover the excess cost, with a quarter (25 percent) asking friends or family to bail them out.

The average overspend is £307, which adds up to a massive £3 billion extra spent nationally.

Two-thirds of us (68 percent) don’t bother with a budget, and a third (31 percent) will put a project on hold when costs start to rise beyond what we expected with 18 percent having to abandon their DIY project completely because of rising costs.

Almost half (46 percent) say rising costs are usually because materials are more expensive than expected, suggesting setting a budget might indeed be a smart idea.

However, only a fifth (21 percent) stick to their budget, 10 percent set a budget but then blow it completely and 66 percent end up having to use their savings to cover the spending gap.

Surveyor Local can help with surveys

Many home buyers specifically look for property that needs fixing up, hoping to bag a bargain and carry out home improvements that will add value to their new home.

Commissioning a building survey is definitely the right way to find out exactly what improvements are required and even to gauge the costs involved.

Surveyor Local works with chartered surveyors who are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, ensuring you get the most professional and expert opinion on the condition of the property you intend to buy.

Talk to our friendly team now on 0800 038 6677 to discuss which survey type best suits your purchase. You can also compare the costs of surveys online now.

Approaching projects with confidence

Rated People has produced a series of online cost guides to help people understand the true cost of DIY or home improvement projects.

Celia Francis, CEO of Rated People, said: “The price of home improvement and repair work can be a pain point for both homeowners and tradespeople.

“Our cost guides help homeowners understand what they are paying for with work and what might drive a price up or down, allowing them to go into a project with more confidence.”

Avoid common pitfalls

Tommy Walsh is a builder and the presenter of BBC TV’s Ground Force programme, which involves DIY garden projects. He says setting a budget is essential.

Tommy said: “Not properly budgeting for a home-improvement project is one of the most common pitfalls many people fall into.

“It’s important that people budget properly for any DIY or home-improvement project – they can use an online cost guide to get an approximate amount of what a project is likely to cost, but they should then discuss this with a qualified tradesperson who will be able to provide a final cost.

“By not budgeting properly, people’s home-improvement projects often get delayed and, in some circumstances, get shelved altogether.”

Post Author: Frances Traynor