Survey reveals how home owners fail to budget properly for improvements

Almost two thirds of people in Britain overspend when it comes to home improvements and DIY, usually because they have not budgeted for the work, new research has found.

Overall 65% said they spent more than anticipated and 68% said they did not set a budget in the first place, according to a survey by online marketplace Rated People that connects home owners with tradespeople.

It said that this amounts to people overspending on DIY and home improvement projects by £307, equating to £3 billion nationwide with some 10 million people doing a DIY/home improvement project last year.

The amounted needed for a home project becomes too much for some, with 25% having to rely on borrowing money from friends and 18% resorting to taking out a loan to cover the excess cost.

Cost also meant that 31% have had to put a home improvement project on hold, with 46% admitting this is mainly due to materials being more expensive than expected while 18% have had to put a complete stop to a project due to money completely running out.

It seems that when people do try and set a budget, they still get carried away as only 21% remain within budget while 10% completely blow the budget and 66% end up having to dip into their savings for the additional costs to complete the project.

To help people understand the true cost of home improvement and to help easily set a budget, Rated People has launched a series of online cost guides. These go beyond actual figures to explain why the work costs what it does and help people gage whether they have been quoted a fair price for their project.

‘The price of home improvement and repair work can be a pain point for both home owners and tradespeople. Our cost guides help home owners 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,’ said Celia Francis, chief executive officer of Rated People.

According to builder and TV presenter of Ground Force, Tommy Walsh, 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,’ he explained.

‘By not budgeting properly, people’s home improvement projects often get delayed and, in some circumstances, get shelved altogether,’ he added.