Londoners plan to splash the cash on home improvements

Brits plan to spend in the region of on average £4,000 on home improvements over the next 12 months, led by with Londoners, according to a survey by Checkatrade.com, which provides access to qualified, vetted and monitored trades people. The research found that the amount to be spent by Londoners averaged nearly double the national average at £8,000, while people from Nottingham only plan to spend an average of around £1,000. When asked about primary improvement goals saving energy was a low priority, with just 5% of survey participants rating it as a primary improvement goal and a mere 9% planning to fit energy efficiency improvements such as double glazing. Interestingly though half said they did not know what the Green Deal was, a government scheme that allows homeowners to borrow money for energy improvements then pay off the loan through energy bill savings, clearly indicating some awareness issues. When it comes to choosing a tradesperson, the survey shows people are wising up to rogue traders. In Checkatrade.com’s annual 2011 homeowner survey just 5% said they would use a vetting service such as Checkatrade.com. This figure has virtually quadrupled to 20% in 2013. In 2011 half said they would trust a word-of-mouth recommendation compared to three quarters in 2013. Celebrity interior designer Linda Barker, who recently teamed up with Checkatrade.com and reached the final of Tom Daley’s reality diving show Splash!, said: “It's always music to my ears to hear how keen people are to spend money on improving their homes, but when that work goes beyond DIY it's particularly encouraging to learn that the message about vetting and checking everyone you employ is really getting through. Making our homes more beautiful and more valuable is the one investment everyone sees sense in right now, but none of us have money to waste on rogue traders along the way.” Checkatrade MD Kevin Byrne is also positive: “DIY is a tempting option, especially with the country in recession and Easter approaching. But be careful not to take on a job that really demands a skilled professional, otherwise it could cost more in the long run.”
Article courtesy of Property Investor Today
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