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How has COVID-19 impacted the home improvement industry?

30 July 2020 2332 Views

The coronavirus lockdown has meant people across the UK have spent more time in their homes than ever before. For months, restrictions meant the population was unable to go out to work, non-essential shops, for leisure or to see their friends or family – and it seems this time spent at home has led many to turn their attention to upgrading their space.

Data published by Statista shows that online sales of DIY and gardening tools went through the roof during the coronavirus outbreak. Between the 9th and 15th March, just before the lockdown started in the UK, “online sales of home improvement and gardening retail products grew by almost 50%” when compared with the same time period in 2019. This includes items like paint, building materials, equipment and tools, and plants and seeds for gardening.

While restrictions have begun to ease in England, it seems that many are still focussing on completing home DIY projects. According to ResponseSource, a recent study has revealed that 55% of adults in the UK are prioritising home improvements over the coming months. So what projects are people most likely to undertake?

Redecorating and upgrading interiors

More and more homeowners are finding the time and budget for projects they otherwise would not have attempted. The ResponseSource data mentioned above states that 23% of respondents are planning to redecorate their interior – and there are many ways that homeowners can rejuvenate their space.

If you’re thinking about making some simple home improvements to your own property – remember it’s important to get the required level of knowledge and correct tools for the job before starting your project. Companies such as SGS Engineering have comprehensive buying guides to help you select the right tools for the task at hand.

Revamping outdoor areas

Those lucky enough to have a garden have likely spent much more time in it over the last few months – due to restrictions allowing people to meet outdoors only. This has perhaps focussed homeowners attention on upgrading their garden, as the BBC reported in May that seed sales soared as people spent more time planting flowers and vegetables.

Are you thinking about upgrading your outdoor space? There are many ways to give your garden a new lease of life, including introducing new shrubs and flowers, painting your fence or installing new outdoor lighting. You could also create a new patio area or decking for eating al fresco and invest in new furniture.

Environmentally friendly upgrades

The Chancellor’s recent announcement about the new £2bn Green Homes Grant may further fuel homeowners’ ambition to make improvements to their property. The scheme will involve issuing vouchers of up to £5,000 to homeowners across England to help them improve the energy efficiency of their homes. It also seeks to create additional jobs in this sector and therefore help kick-start the economy.

While details of the scheme have not been announced yet, the vouchers are intended to help homeowners make green improvements to their homes. This includes things like installing insulation to improve heat retention as well as installing double glazing.

The increased demand for DIY tools and other home improvement equipment is set to create thousands of new jobs, with B&Qs chief executive stating that they are looking to recruit between 3,000 and 4,000 new workers due to increased sales over recent months. This is certainly one positive as the country makes steps to kick-start economic activity following easing of lockdown restrictions.

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