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What do we do when we’re stuck inside our houses with nowhere to go and four months’ worth of free weekends? We renovate!

The 2020 Renovation Nation Report has found that UK homeowners have spent have spent £55billion on renovations to create their perfect property. That is an average of £4,035.70 each on home renovations since the lockdown restrictions began in March.

Of course, not everyone has had the financial freedom to fix up their living space but almost 65 per cent of homeowners did invest in their properties over lockdown. And even with lockdown easing, findings suggested that the trend for investing in homes is set to continue with three quarters (73 per cent) of homeowners questioned admitting they will continue to stay home as much as possible.

Other than the obvious ‘more disposable time’ factor, top reasons for fixing up homes in lockdown were articulated as: increasing the value of the home and making home more comfortable in anticipation of spending more time there (due to lockdown and the pandemic). Plus, 40 per cent of homeowners experienced ‘Zoombarrassement’ over the appearance of their homes, inspiring renovation projects.

Almost a quarter of homeowners (24 per cent) stated they have used money originally intended for a holiday to finance their new home improvements, which is second only to general savings (26 per cent). Some even admitted to sacrificing their ‘big day’ as 4 per cent of British homeowners revealed they used savings originally intended for a wedding or engagement ring.

How are people changing their homes in this new, pandemic-centric world in which we find ourselves? Garden upgrades (34 per cent) top a list for the most popular lockdown renovation project, closely followed by the living room (23 per cent), bedroom (22 per cent), kitchen (22 per cent) and keen to make the most of staying home, green-fingered Brits have also been turning their hand to growing their own vegetables, with just over one in five (21 per cent) homeowners investing in a greenhouse or vegetable patch during the pandemic.

We strongly suspect that with people at home more, bathrooms will become a top priority for keen renovators. With home-working the status quo for now and probably the next while, bathroom footfall in our homes is on the up, the natural result of which is an increase in general wear and tear. We are also more likely to want a comfortable, relaxing, pleasurable facilities space in our homes as we spend more time there. Another key thing is the importance of good ventilation in terms of keeping coronavirus in check. Now this is less of a deal in our homes than in our work space but as lockdown eases and winter approaches, it’s important for us to think about keeping our bathrooms (and homes in general) free from stale air.

If you decide that you could do with advice or specialist help on certain jobs, do get
in touch! We’d love to help you put together your dream bathroom but also understand that installations can be costly. Why not apply for finance online? Visit our dedicated page HERE. The application form is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Now that lockdown is easing a little, some bathroom fitters have reopened for business and you might  even feel a little easier about letting your trusted tradesperson in to finally fix the leaking tap that’s been nagging at you for the last month.

Tradespeople are allowed to work in homes as long as they stick to the government’s latest guidelines, including social distancing (limiting face-to-face contact with people who aren’t in your household and maintaining a two-metre distance between one another).

With this in mind, here are some top tips to staying safe whilst having your bathroom renovated or your plumbing fixed:

What YOU can do:

  • Keep your distance from any visitors and avoid physical contact (which means no serving tea or sharing mugs with your plumber – shocking, we know!).
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home such as door handles, light switches and your kettle.

What your TRADESPERSON can do:

  • Use of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as disposable gloves and face masks.
  • A commitment to regular handwashing or use of hand sanitiser, with tradespeople responsible for bringing their own soap, paper towels and sanitiser.
  • Breaks should be taken alone – outside or in a vehicle off property.
  • If work on the room cannot be carried out on a separate floor the guidelines suggest that residents should stay in a different room with the door closed.

If at all possible, limit the number of people in your home at one time, this will make social distancing procedures much easier. If work is not essential it is perhaps better to delay projects but if work is indeed necessary, tradespeople and clients should have an open and frank discussion before work starts and about any extra costs that protective measures might involve.

For more detailed advice visit Homes&Property and Which.co.uk.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.