Almost a quarter of owners underestimate cost of decorating and renovation

Around half a million home owners in the UK go over budget when redecorating or renovating their home each year, with younger people more likely to do so, new research has found.

Some 23% of new property owners have faced spiralling costs in an effort to create their dream home in the past five years alone yet they underestimate the cost of renovations and redecoration by approximately £3.4 billion.

The research from Direct Line Home Insurance also found that they spend an average of £7,427 more than they expected, that is 278% over budget. While 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.

Young people are most likely to go over budget on renovations with 30% of 18to 34 year olds spending more than they intended to on their home, compared to 17% of those aged over 55, although the firm suggests this could largely be down to their lack of experience, or lofty aspirations for their dream property.

The most popular room in a property to renovate within 12 months of buying a home is the kitchen with 32% of buyers having put this as their top priority upon moving in while 29% say it is the bathroom and 17% the living room.

When it comes to redecorating, 43% say the living room is the top priority, closely followed by 42% naming bedroom, 35% the hallway and 28% the dining room.

It is estimated that home owners 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.

But the firm says that this shouldn’t encourage people to decorate on the cheap as botched jobs account 17% of home sales falling through or held up.

‘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,’ said Dan Simson, head of home insurance at Direct Line.

The research found that 68% of home owners are comfortable painting, 49% stripping wallpaper and 24% will tackle tiling. Women are more likely to reach for the paintbrush at 73% compared to 63% of men but men prefer tiling at 30% to 18% of women.

Some owners will even tackle bigger jobs. The survey shows that 5% 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.

‘Many home buyers 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,’ added Simson.