Average homeowner spends £12,000 on changes to their home
Almost one in eight homeowners (13%) who have made structural changes to their home have done so because they cannot afford to move, new research reveals today.
A YouGov online survey commissioned by housing charity Shelter and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) showed that homeowners who have made structural changes to their property have made an average of three since moving in, spending an average of £12,000 in doing so. A quarter said they had spent over £20,000.
The two organisations conducted the research to coincide with the launch this week of Architect in the House, the hugely successful fundraising initiative in which RIBA architects give up their time to offer hour-long consultations to homeowners about how to improve or adapt their property. In return, homeowners make a suggested donation of £40 to Shelter in support of the charity’s work with homeless and badly housed families.
The survey revealed that most popular changes made to homes include opening up walls (18%), renovating a new home on purchase (17%) and fitting a conservatory (15%), with 60 per cent of those who have made changes saying that creating more space to improve their living environment was their main motivation. One in eight (13%) were improving their existing home because they couldn’t afford to move.
Ruth Reed, President of the RIBA, said:
'The difficulties of the unsettled economy mean that moving home is simply no longer an option for many homeowners and people are looking at how to improve their existing property.
Participating in Architect in the House is an excellent opportunity for people to arrange a consultation with an architect who will have the expertise to advise them how to achieve their home improvement goals while supporting Shelter’s vital work. With some expert advice, the house of your dreams could be the one you already live in.'
TV presenter and founder of Tepilo.com Sarah Beeny, who is supporting Architect in the House this year, said:
'I know how daunting it can be to embark on a home improvement project, but whatever the size and scope of your plans, consulting an architect can really add value.
Whether you’re renovating a new property or want to create extra space for a growing family, architects can advise on anything from latest design trends and fixtures and fittings to finding builders to carry out the work. Architect in the House is a great way to make the most of their experience while raising money for a good cause at the same time.'
Now in its 15th year, Architect in the House has already raised over £1.1 million for homeless and badly housed families and helped more than 50,000 homeowners realise their property potential. This year the scheme is sponsored by TV channel Home.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said:
'We all know the value of having a decent, safe and secure place to live, so it’s shocking to think that more than 70,000 children in England have no home to call their own, and that over a million live in housing that is overcrowded, damp or in disrepair.
The money raised through Architect in the House is absolutely crucial to Shelter, enabling us to provide vital housing advice and support to over a million people each year and to work towards a future where no child’s life is blighted by bad housing.'
Homeowners or architects can register by visiting www.architectinthehouse.org.uk. Participants will be matched with architects in early July and consultations can take place any time up to the end of November. Participants in Northern Ireland will be matched in August.
This year, award winning bed makers Warren Evans are offering every homeowner who takes part in the scheme the chance to win a beautiful handcrafted ‘Sunday’ bed and ‘Sienna’ mattress worth more than £1,000. More details are available at www.architectinthehouse.org.uk.