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News: Redecorating and refurnishing top the DIY poll

The nation's do-it-yourself keen homeowners are now favouring simple, straight forward home improvements, which add value and update the look of an entire house with minimal cost, effort and resources.

New research by Halifax, shows that DIYers are turning from the more traditional fitted kitchens and home insulation to simple redecorating and fitting new furnishings.

Redecorating is the nation's most popular home improvement, with three quarters (75%) of respondents choosing to revamp their homes with a new coat of paint and wallpaper.

The second most popular home improvement is the introduction of new furnishings (52%.) New furnishings are particularly popular amongst 16 to 24 year olds (75%) and 25 to 34 year olds (66%), who are looking to furnish their first home, or who finally have the resources to replace 'hand-me down' furniture.

Replacing existing flooring is increasingly popular - Updating the style and creating a new, fresh look in the whole house can also be achieved by replacing existing flooring in any room. In this respect, the third most popular home improvement is new carpets (36%), which are making a popular return over laminate flooring. Fitting new laminate flooring is in fourth place (35%).

A fitted kitchen now takes fifth place

Installing a fitted kitchen (32%) is the nation's fifth most popular home improvement.

Top five home improvements

Rank

Home improvement

No. of people who have completed work (%)

1.

Redecorating

75

2.

New Furnishings

52

3.

New carpets

36

4.

Laminate flooring

35

5.

Fitted kitchen

32

How home improvement trends have changed

The trend in home improvements over the last ten years has shifted away from the 'warmth factor'. Central heating, for example, was a necessity for most houses and featured within the top five home improvements each year until 1998. With most houses now having central heating, it has fallen to tenth position in 2006 with 15%.

Post 1998, the rising popularity of the ubiquitous laminate wood floor signalled a change in home decoration trends that saw double glazing fall from the top slots.

Double glazing was the most popular home improvement in 1992, fell to third place in 1994 and was at third place in 2003. In 2006, it was ranked eighth with 24%.

In addition, a fitted kitchen came in at second place in 1992, fell to fourth in 2003, out of the top five in 2004 and is now ranked at fifth place.

Why people are carrying out home improvements

46% of respondents have carried out some type of home improvements within the last 12 months. The most popular reason for making home improvements was to improve the look of the home (30%) and almost a quarter (24%) say that they did it to improve their standard of living. Only 7% say they made the improvements to add value to their home, while only 2% did it to increase saleability of their property.

Top five reasons for making home improvements

Rank

Home improvement

No. of people who have completed work (%)

1.

Improve the look of the home

30

2.

Improve standard of living

24

3.

Necessity/Essential repair

22

4.

Update/ modernise

20

5.

Add value to the home

7

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