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Home improvements are putting British couples at loggerheads


Couples around Britain have been bickering over home improvements, a study has found.

A poll of 2,000 adults found one in six people have ended up rowing with their other half when decorating or renovating their home. The research conducted by Independent Network revealed that 16 per cent disagreed over how much they should spend, while almost one in five said either they or their partner were completely against getting the work done at all.

As a result, 47 per cent found their home makeover 'stressful'.

Battle of the sexes

When it comes to making the call to do the work, it’s the ladies who are the instigators. Researchers found women are most likely to suggest a home improvement – with 65 per cent saying it was them who made the first move compared to just 45 per cent of men.

But it’s blokes who are responsible for getting the quotes, with 70 per cent saying the task usually fell to them.

A third of those surveyed admitted to blaming their partner for not spending more time to get a wide range of quotes before giving the go ahead on the work.

Find the right contractor

If you’re not feeling DIY-savvy enough to take on the work yourself, hiring in a contractor is the best way forward. But with this comes the issue of finding the right tradesperson for the job and making sure you get the work done at the right price.

More than 10 per cent of participants admitted they weren’t happy with the price they paid for the work in the end, and almost one in 10 weren’t satisfied with the quality of work either.

As a result, 53 per cent of people regretted not taking the time to get more quotes, with more than a quarter feeling they could have had the same job done for less money if they’d shopped around for a few more quotes. Of those who did get quotes, an average of three were collected before they made their mind up.

It also emerged that word of mouth recommendations are the most popular way to find a contractor, ahead of simply ringing around to get some prices. A brave 28 per cent of couples bypassed contractors altogether and did the work themselves – cue more bickering!

Karen Lund of home improvement window specialists Independent Network said: “We all know that home improvements can be disruptive, but we didn’t realise quite what the emotional impact could be.

“It seems women are more interested in attaining perfection, and men would rather not deal with the hassle.”

Top five most common home improvements

A new bathroom was found to be the most common home improvement to make, followed by a garden makeover and a new kitchen. Other popular ways to improve the home include updating the boiler or the central heating, or installing double glazing. Here are the top five in order:

1. New bathroom

2. Garden makeover

3. New kitchen

4. Central heating and/or boiler

5. Double glazing