UK householders spending less on DIY projects

Britons are not spending as much on DIY projects due to economic pressures and a slow moving housing market, according to new figures released this week from Lloyds TSB.

The banking institute released the results of research that revealed that spending on materials and tools dropped by 17% over the course of 2011 when inflation is factored into the equation. Spending calculations are based on materials such as plaster, wallpaper, paint, tiles, and similar items.

In 2012, Brit’s were estimated to have spent about £7.8b on DIY projects which comes out to an average of £300 on DIY projects per household. This is the lowest total DIY spending recorded since records were first kept in 1996, and almost half of the market peak back in 2004 when spending totalled up to around £16bn. Purchases of DIY equipment and tools also dropped by about a fifth and over spending on DIY materials fell by around 16%.

The good news for tradesmen is that national spending on hiring electricians, joiners, and plumbers increased by about one percent which is the first time in the last few years that they have seen national spending increase. The small rise is not of much help to tradesmen when put into perspective, as national spending has fallen almost forty percent since 2001. During the same time frame household spending on DIY projects also fell by about 22%.

As further evidence of the economic crunch, Lloyds discovered that households spent about 10% more on DIY project then they spent on tradesman, which is a stark contrast to last decade when homeowners were more apt to hire a tradesman than take on a home improvement project on their own. Housing economist Suren Thiru of Lloyds TSB stated that this trend is most likely going to continue unless signs of economic recovery start popping up.