Two-thirds (67%) of Irish adults are planning on renovating or redecorating their homes within the next 12 months, according to a survey carried out on behalf of Hardware Association Ireland. Of those planning work, almost one-third (31%) expect to spend more than €5,000 on redecorations and renovations while 9% expect to spend more than €15,000. Some 18% of respondents aged 18-24 plan on spending over €15,000.
By far the biggest motivation for renovating was a need for general updating and refurbishment with 81% or respondents citing it while 11% said it was because they could not afford to move home. The Home Renovation Incentive Scheme was cited by just 5%.
“While the number of people intending to spend money on their homes in the next year is very welcome the low level of interest in the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme must be a cause for concern”, said HAI chief executive Annemarie Harte. “We believe the scheme should be extended and amended to make it more attractive to homeowners around the country. The scheme should be extended beyond its planned end date of 31st December 2018 for a further 24 months. This would allow people considering renovations to include the scheme in their plans.”
Ms Harte also called for changes in the operation of the scheme. “The scheme has been highly successful to with almost €2 billion spent on works up to 30th June 2018. However, 65% of that has been spent in just four counties – Dublin, Meath, Wicklow and Kildare. The floor for the qualifying spend should be lowered from €4,405 to €3,000 to encourage the owners of smaller homes and the ceiling should be raised to €50,000 from €30,000 as an incentive for homeowners to pursue larger projects. We believe these changes would allow the scheme to spread out and have more of an impact in the other 22 counties which have yet to feel the full benefits of the recovery in the economy.”
Repainting was by far the most popular project with 75% saying this was on their agenda, next came general repairs and renovations at 51%, while gardening and landscaping was planned by 34%. Kitchen upgrades remain popular with a quarter (25%) planning one. Window replacement was mentioned by just 11%, possibly reflecting the high energy performance of modern homes. Just 6% said they were planning an extension while 4% had an attic conversion in mind.
DIY remains very popular among Irish people with 61% of those planning a home project saying that where possible they would do the job themselves while 39% would hire professional tradespeople. Interestingly, those aged 18-24 (72%) are most likely to opt for DIY.
Almost 4 in 10 (37%) claim they choose to go the DIY route because it’s cheaper, with almost a quarter (24%) claiming they like having a hobby and working on a project.
On the other hand, almost one in five (18%) claim to have had a DIY disaster in the past, with floods, falls, and flatpack failures high on the list. Paint covered dogs and falling shelves were also mentioned.
“Despite these experiences, Ireland is still a nation of DIYers”, said Ms Harte. “The fact that so many young people intend carrying out home improvement projects themselves is very comforting and indicates a high level of confidence and capability when it comes to technical jobs around the home.”
Another interesting finding related to the methods used to choose a professional tradesperson for a job. Advice from family and friends is the most popular way at 80% with 61% or respondents basing their choice on past experience. Just 21% use the internet suggesting that the medium has some way to go before it becomes a channel of choice for hiring tradespeople. Even among 18-24 year-olds, the internet was the choice of just 34% of respondents.
“It is clear that people still find it hard to trust the internet when it comes to hiring people who will work in their homes”, Ms Harte noted. “Word of mouth and personal experience are still top. I would advise would be home-improvers to drop into their local hardware store where they can be sure they will get advice they can trust when it comes to choosing a professional tradesperson.”
Full details of this research is available to HAI members upon request. For access to the full report please contact Aoife Kinsella at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01 2980969.