Energy Costs and House Prices Influencing DIY across Europe

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

More of us are becoming amateur builders and decorators as a result of energy costs and house prices, a new survey has found. Kingfisher, Europe's biggest home improvements retail group, compiled the European Home Report 2014 by comparing the attitudes of 17,000 people across the continent.

The report has shown a huge shift in priorities since 2012. The amount of people carrying out DIY jobs in a bid to boost their home's value has soared from 17% two years ago to 68% today. This also seems to match a rise in our confidence to pull off the work; 18% of us now feel capable of installing insulation compared to 10% in 2012, and an extra 10% reckon they could do a decent paint job. If you're into your DIY, have a read over your home insurance policy before taking on anything major.

Kingfisher found that the biggest fear of homeowners has also changed in the last couple of years (and no, it's not noisy neighbours moving in next door). Skyrocketing energy bills now top the list of concerns for 65% of us, outstripping even mortgage payments, which only 23% said they were worried about. This is pushing more and more Europeans to make energy saving home improvements.

Back in 2012, only 4% of us had energy efficiency projects in the pipeline, but that's increased to a significant 31%. The most popular ways of keeping utilities bills down include using renewable electricity, and installing double glazing and low-flush toilets.

The survey threw up a few other interesting findings. European homeowners want more from their property than they did two years ago, with a whopping 77% of respondents focussing on adapting their homes to suit their lifestyles better, and almost a fifth needing more space. But what most of us won't have expected is that 48% of people find being handy around the house an attractive quality in potential partners. That makes it the third most important character trait, just behind being intelligent and cultured.

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