Delay It Yourself this Bank Holiday: 82% of Britons admit putting off home maintenance jobs

publication date: Aug 26, 2016
author/source: Guest article - Firstport

82% of Britons admit putting off home maintenance jobs

  • UK ‘propcrastinators’ put off household jobs by average of nearly 4 weeks (26 days)

  • Despite this, Britons spend 114 hours and £1,840 a year maintaining their properties

  • Clearing gutters, getting rid of damp and cleaning windows top Britons’ most hated household tasks

  • One in three Britons have injured themselves carrying out property maintenance work

Britain is a nation of ‘propcrastinators’, new research by FirstPort, the UK’s largest residential property manager, reveals today as 82% (42 million Brits) admit to putting off essential jobs around the house.

As homeowners around the country get ready for an August Bank Holiday of home improvements, repairs and gardening, a new report from FirstPort has found that propcrastinators put off home maintenance for an average of nearly four weeks (26 days). For one in 10, these tasks are put off by more than three months.

Got some maintenance work to do? Read our maintaining your property quick guide

The report, entitled The Value of Property Maintenance, found that as a nation we spend 114 hours a year doing jobs around the house – equivalent to 14 working days, or seven weekends each year.

Calculating the cost of jobs such as plumbing, painting, cleaning carpets, windows and gutters and doing ad-hoc decorating, repairs and gardening, Britons estimate they spend £700 a year maintaining their homes. Adding to this the amount of time we spend working on our home1, the full cost of maintaining the average home reaches £1,840 annually.

Nigel Howell, CEO of FirstPort, said: “It takes both time and money to keep a house in good condition, as we know from the 115,000 properties we look after across over 2,000 developments. In our increasingly time-poor society, we wanted to better understand Britons’ attitudes to property maintenance so we can make sure we’re adding as much value as possible to our residents’ lives, as well as passing on our knowledge and expertise to homeowners who feel less comfortable with the tasks we do every day. Whether you do it yourself, or get a professional in, the most important thing is to make sure it is dealt with properly and quickly, before something small becomes a much bigger issue, which could knock value off your home.”

The study of 2,000 UK adults delved into Britons’ knack for property ‘waitenance’, with 32% of those who put off household tasks and DIY saying they do so as they are too busy, while 25% say they are unsure of what to do. One in 10 (9%) are worried about damaging or devaluing their home and 6% are worried about injuring themselves.

Got some maintenance work to do? Read our maintaining your property quick guide

These fears are not unfounded; as the research found 28% of Britons (14.4 million) have injured themselves while maintaining their homes, with one in 20 (4% - equivalent to 1.8 million adults) having to take time off work or go to hospital.

Kate Faulkner, Property Expert, said: “As someone who carries out a variety of property projects every year, the most important thing I’ve learned is to know what you can do yourself and what you should leave to the professionals. Jobs such as keeping the garden tidy or a bit of painting here and there can be done by most people - some might even enjoy it! However, other jobs that might appear simple, such as clearing the guttering, getting rid of mould or replacing sealant on baths/showers, are actually, in my view, best left to the professionals as they often require specialist safety equipment, expert knowledge and skill.”



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