Over half of Brits are prioritising plans to update their home as the Covid-19 restrictions continue to be eased in the UK, with one in eight expecting to spend money on improvements within the next six months.

According to the research commissioned by Safestyle, 55 per cent of UK adults are prioritising home improvement plans, with around a quarter intending to redecorate inside (23 per cent) or tidy the garden (25 per cent), and one in eight focused on improving the outside appearance of their home (13 per cent).

Whilst there are some who have suffered financially as a result of the lockdown, many of those surveyed (62 per cent) say they feel wealthier than usual as a result of saving money over the past few months on things like socialising, commuting and going on holiday. One in three (31 per cent) are likely to spend this extra money on home improvements – with 13 per cent planning to do so within the next six months.

Over a third (34 per cent) of respondents feel comfortable letting tradespeople into their home to carry out work, with another 26 per cent having no strong feelings either way, which is a positive sign as the country takes steps to restart the economy.

National home improvement company Safestyle, which commissioned the survey, has put strict Covid-safe plans in place to protect its customers and employees. The company is now fully open for business again following the lockdown and has recently launched a recruitment drive to boost its workforce.

Most of those polled in the research agreed that it is important for tradespeople to take additional steps to ensure that social distancing and good hygiene are maintained, with the top five requirements being to:

1) Keep at least 2 metres away (71 per cent)
2) Wash/sanitise hands before entering (67 per cent)
3) Wear a protective face mask (63 per cent)
4) Confirm they have no Covid-19 symptoms (56 per cent)
5) Wear protective gloves (56 per cent)

Other suggestions included wiping down anything they touch; not expecting a drink or to use the loo; and in one case the respondent wanted tradespeople to wear a one-piece virus-proof suit.

Martin Troughton, Marketing Director at Safestyle, says, “The survey shows that home improvements are still high on the list of priorities for many in the UK, perhaps more so after spending so much time at home during the lockdown. Our outdoor spaces have become the centre of our social lives, whether that’s clapping for carers outside the front door, chatting to neighbours over the fence, or more recently having small gatherings of friends and family in the garden, so it’s easy to see why improving the look of our homes and gardens is so important.

“It is clear from the survey data that many are now ready to have people working in their home again and start making some of the changes they’ve been thinking about during the lockdown period. There are others though who may need a bit of extra reassurance about allowing people to work in their home, ensuring it’s safe for themselves and their families. Many businesses are now putting steps in place to address this as we return to some degree of normality. At Safestyle, for instance, we’ve developed clear Covid-safe protocols for our sales and installation teams, going beyond government guidelines to make sure all our customers and employees remain safe.”