June 16, 2024


International Student Club UK

More than half of UK homeowners claim their property is a ‘work in progress’, study finds


More than half of UK homeowners claim their property is a ‘work in progress’ – with an average of five DIY jobs currently languishing unfinished in homes across the country. Some of these on-going renovations include half painted walls and doors, incomplete fire pits or pizza ovens in the garden – and even entire kitchen overhauls which have fallen by the wayside.

The study of 2,000 property owners found almost half (48 per cent) don’t think their home will ever be ‘finished’ – with some of the bigger tasks still in progress ranging from loft conversions to half-done home offices. Some of the top reasons for these jobs being left unfinished include, not having the skills required to complete them (22 per cent), underestimating the time it would take to manage the project (20 per cent) and under budgeting (16 per cent).

However, optimistically, homeowners believe they will be able to get their DIY projects back on track, estimating it to take an average of eight months to complete all the unfinished jobs.

The research was commissioned by Shawbrook Bank to mark the launch of its DI-Y Did I Bother? campaign, which aims to encourage people to finish those half-done jobs around the home. As part of the initiative, the bank has also created a quiz to allow users to discover what type of home renovator they are – from a sensible strategist to a walking DIY disaster.

Spokesperson Sally Conway said: “Perfecting a property can truly be an endless task – new trends and online inspiration can fuel our desire to upgrade our homes. However, without proper planning, DIYers find they need more time, money and better skills to finish the job.

“If you’ve found yourself starting and not finishing a DIY project, then you’re not alone. Our research showed that there are many half-started and half-hearted projects in homes up and down the country.

“While many factors can come into play, it is often lack of planning and budget which can cause many to have to down tools and wait until they have the right funds or expert help before giving their tasks another go.”

The research showed 56 per cent have already spotted further home improvements to take care of shortly after their current job has finished – with one in five (19 per cent) adding a multitude of new tasks to their to-do lists every few months. Seeing what new makeovers family and friends have done to their homes provide the greatest source of inspiration for 28 per cent, while many others find their motivation for renovations for TV shows (27 per cent).

Nearly half (47 per cent) admit they have had a DIY job around the home go wrong costing property owners an average of £331 to correct– with wonky wallpaper, slanted shelving and imperfect painting the most common jobs causing headaches for homeowners.

Siobhan Murphy
Siobhan wants to help people turn their DIY disasters around

Encouragingly, six in 10 (60 per cent) believe they have learnt from their mistakes – while more than a third (35 per cent) admit to making the same slip-ups again. When thinking about their half-finished jobs, 38 per cent believe a bigger budget will help them get the task wrapped up, while 31 per cent know they need the help of an expert.

According to the survey conducted via OnePoll, homeowners admit they are more likely to go over budget than under when conducting home improvement projects – while nearly four in 10 (39 per cent) will underestimate the cost in the planning stage. Those surveyed funded their home improvement project through savings (67 per cent), credit card (32 per cent) and a personal loan (17 per cent).

Siobhan Murphy, TV star and interior designer, has also teamed up with the bank to create a host of tips and videos – as well as giving one hopeless DIYer the chance to win a one-on-one consultation with the expert – https://www.shawbrook.co.uk/direct/personal-loans/di-y-did-i-bother/

Siobhan Murphy said: “I’ve teamed up with Shawbrook to help people turn their DIY disasters around. Whether you’ve given up on a garden project, thrown the towel in on a bathroom remodel, or deserted the new kitchen designs, we want to help people finish what they’ve started.”

Siobhan Murphy
Is your home finished – or does it still need work?

Sally Conway added: “When taking on DIY jobs big and small around the home, it can be difficult to know exactly how much money and time you’ll need. No matter how straightforward a project may seem, there can always be complications or reasons why it could end up being more work or costing more than planned.

“It’s important to be realistic when planning your DIY and calculating your budget before getting started. Our DI-Y Did I bother? campaign aims to help consumers on their mission to finish their half-started jobs this summer.

“We’re working with Siobhan to encourage people to get creative and go from DIY disasters to DIY masters. Our website has a whole host of guides and tips to help empower people to pick up their tools and plan and budget effectively – giving them the support to get the job done.”

Top 20 most common home improvements which go unfinished

  1. Fresh paint on the walls
  2. Fresh paint on doors
  3. Fresh paint on the ceilings
  4. Change the flooring / carpet
  5. Doing up the bedroom
  6. Landscaping front/back garden
  7. Hang new curtains
  8. Replace door handles
  9. Hang new blinds
  10. Fresh wallpaper
  11. Entirely new bathroom
  12. Put up new shelving
  13. Changing taps
  14. Replace old skirting boards
  15. Replastering the walls
  16. Entirely new kitchen
  17. Add more plug sockets
  18. Remodelling a back garden with luxurious features that require additional electric/ water (i.e. waterfall, outdoor tv, outdoor lighting)
  19. Retile the bathroom
  20. Retile the kitchen


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