Brits spend over £50k improving their homes
House-proud Brits driven by envy of properties featured on reality television programmes from Grand Designs to MTV Cribs has resulted in homeowners spending an average of £1,171 and eleven days a year sprucing up their homes to follow their lead, according to new research.
The study, by esure home insurance, found that Brits spend almost five hours per week improving their homes, amounting to more than a year and a half spent over the average lifetime. They spend £529 on non-functional decorations such as soft furnishings for their home to keep up with the latest domestic trends and a further £404 in a lifetime on items that they will never use for fear of running them - such as expensive designer crockery, silverware and bed linen.
Almost a third (32 per cent) of those polled state that the rise of television property programmes such as Grand Designs, The Home Show, Kirstie's Homemade Home, Location, Location, Location and even MTV Cribs has inspired them to put even more effort into the appearance of their homes and influenced how they decorate.
Some 37 per cent of homeowners polled said that watching property TV programmes made them aspire to live in a better home while nearly one in seven (14 per cent) admitted that voyeuristic peeks inside celebrity homes made them covet more expensive, luxurious items such as designer fabrics, elaborate furnishings and even Jacuzzis.
Despite being motivated by a desire to show off their homes, ironically five per cent of Brits claim that they are so obsessed with keeping their residence spic-and-span that they no longer invite friends or relatives over - for fear that they might cause a spillage. Furthermore, almost one in ten (nine per cent) admit that they cannot enjoy themselves properly when entertaining guests because they are so worried about potential damage and spillages.
Meanwhile seven per cent confess to covering carpets and upholstery with protective sheets when entertaining to keep their home as pristine as possible. One in 20 (five per cent) say that they have banned red wine in their home and 15 per cent say that they have never held a party in their home, despite enjoying attending the house parties of others.
A fifth (20 per cent) of Brits polled said that they have overly house-proud friends and almost a quarter (23 per cent) admit they are too scared and anxious to touch or use something. Six per cent even admitted to turning down invites to friends' perfect ‘show homes' for fear of causing damage or spilling on light-coloured carpets. Eight per cent of Brits confess that they have broken an item or spilt something at a friends' home at least once, but have not confessed to doing so.
Nikki Sellers, Head of home insurance at esure, comments: "The rise in popularity of television shows featuring showcase desirable homes has given rise to a new breed of homeowner driven to create a beautiful abode but almost too scared to enjoy it.
"While pleasing on the eye, a house that resembles a show home is not the most practical place to live. Accidents do happen so it's important for homeowners to ensure that they have adequate home and contents insurance so that you are fully protected if anything unfortunate does happen."
Regional and Gender Breakdown
People living in London spend the most on their homes - £1,240 in an average year, whereas those living in the East of England spend over £250 less per year at £985.
When it comes to being influenced by TV property programmes, those living in London are the most affected, with 43 per cent admitting that shows such as Grand Designs and The Home Show have made them aspire to live in a better home. Meanwhile, less than a quarter (23 per cent) of those in Wales state that they are influenced by such programmes.