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Brits give green light for home improvements

16th November 2008 Print
Environmentally conscious Brits are opting to Go Green with their home improvements, with around one in 10 using reclaimed and green materials and nearly two thirds (64%) considering using them in the future, according to research by Halifax Home Insurance.

The survey among 2000 Brits also reveals the main reason behind the green trend is a tightening of purse strings, with over a third (38%) of those quizzed stating that it's due to cost - while over half (56%) are setting aside a total spend of just £200 for such items. This is closely followed by a desire to be greener (35%) and for around one in six (16%), it's a lifestyle decision and influenced by ‘home fashion' magazines and television programmes.

And nearly half (48%) would make a conscious effort to be greener when undertaking home improvements in the future - if the price was right.

Regionally, those in the South East are the most eco conscious, with over one in 10 (14%) of all home improvements using reclaimed materials, compared to just three per cent of those in Northern Ireland. Interestingly however, this is likely to change, with three quarters (75%) of those in the province considering using reclaimed items for future home improvements and Scots least likely (58%).

The poll found the top 5 green and reclaimed items to be used in home improvements:

1 Fireplaces
2 Floor tiles
3 Radiators
4 Baths
5 Paint

Worryingly however, over half (52%) of people would not think to notify their home insurance to check which items would be covered by their current home insurance policy. This could leave them underinsured and out of pocket in the event of any problems.

David Rochester, head of underwriting at Halifax Home Insurance said: "There has been a growing trend for ‘Going Green' over the past few years in terms of eating, travelling and recycling, and this is now extending to the home as Brits become increasingly eco conscious. Items such as fireplaces, baths and tiles have traditionally been popular, but many households are now likely to consider solar panels or wind turbines.

"Halifax Home Insurance can provide cover for such items, but consumers must be aware that many home insurance policies do not, which could leave them underinsured and facing a large bill in the event of any problems. We also offer unlimited building and contents insurance that would cover green and reclaimed materials such as tiles and fireplaces.

"We would urge anyone looking to undertake any work within the home to seek planning permission and check their level of cover with their home insurance provider in the first instance."

Top tips for green home improvements

Ensure you request planning permission for the installation of wind turbines and solar panels as there are strict rules that need to be adhered to

The internet's a great resource for green living tips - nearly half (49%) of those polled by Halifax Home Insurance sourced their materials online

Get tips from the experts - look into the latest advice on eco friendly, sustainable materials and paint

Visit your local reclamation yard to pick up a bargain - nearly a quarter of Brits (22%) do

Use charity shops and reuse schemes to find furniture or dispose of unwanted items

When buying products make sure they're durable and can be used again and again

Make sure your home insurance covers you for the equipment you use - Halifax Home Insurance does cover wind turbines and solar panels, but many don't within their policies

Government grants are available for the installation on solar panels and wind turbines.

For further information visit