UK's top 5 unexpected household repairs
Written by Robert Bester, Consumer Finance Expert Robert has been a writer for six years, specialising in consumer finance and the UK lending market. Concentrating on consumer credit products, Robert writes informative articles that help customers manage their personal finances efficiently.
11th October 2021
3 minute read
An investigation by Money Guru has revealed that it could take 1 in 4 Brits up to eight years to save for unexpected household repairs.
Money Guru surveyed British homeowners to discover what part of their home needed to be repaired first and how much it cost. In addition to revealing the top five things likely to go wrong in UK household, the research also uncovered that many homeowners are struggling to save more than £50 per month for household repair; taking them eight years to afford the average total bill of £5,000.
Replacing the windows revealed as the UK’s first household fix
The windows have been uncovered as the most common UK household repair, with 1 in 5 (20%) of Brits stating that the windows were the first repair they were forced to make when they moved into their new home. However, with the average lifespan of new windows lasting 20 years - it’s a worthy investment.
Coming a close second for the first household fix for homeowners was the kitchen, with 19% stating they had to repair theirs. The bathroom was also a likely fix for those first moving into their home, with 17% listing it as the top repair job for their new home. Other repairs also included the electrics, heating and, for the unlucky few (2%), ‘everything’ required replacing in the home.
The top 5 things that go wrong in UK households first:
The top five household repairs uncovered as the UK’s most likely household fixes also come with a rather large price tag for British homeowners. The initial repair bill for a house with 10 windows starts at around £5,450. Similarly, the cost for a totally new bathroom is £4,500 - including suite and installation. And, while the price of a new roof depends on the material, the average cost to fit a new roof is close to £4,900.
The prices increase, however, for those who need to repair the kitchen when they first move in - costing around £8,000 for replacement. But, those who face replacing the boiler in their new home, are looking at a bill that can vary between £500 and £2,500.
A quarter of Brits spent at least £5,000 on their first household repair
In keeping with the average costs for the most common household repairs, Money Guru’s investigation uncovered that 24% stated they spent at least £5,000 on the first repair in their new home.
A further 31% said they spent between £1,000 and £5,000 fixing their home. Sadly, only 17% said their first repair expense was under £100. But do Brits have enough savings to cover the costs?
1 in 4 Brits only save £50 each month for any household repairs
While the average cost for the most common repairs is around £5,000, only 24% of homeowners are able to regularly save £50 each month to cover any emergencies - taking them eight years to afford the average total bill of £5,000.
When investigating further, Money Guru found that another 25% were only able to save ‘occasionally’, with 1 in 10 also saying they are not able to make any savings for home repairs.
In recent years, many families have struggled to put aside savings. Rising costs of food, petrol and energy have contributed to Brits having to cut back on their average monthly spend.
A third of Brits are finding alternative financing to pay for their first household repairs
A third of the homeowners (34%) surveyed in Money Guru’s study are finding alternative finance options to pay for household repairs.
Of that 34%, 1 in 3 opted to get a loan to help them pay for their first repairs. Additionally, 40% added to the mortgage and 12% got a credit card.
The above numbers suggest that many homeowners do not have the ability to pay outright for home repairs. Therefore, they are seeking options that allow them to pay over a longer amount of time - such as home improvement loans and credit cards, which can offer low interest and aid those requiring financial help. Additionally, it’s also worth noting that adding to the mortgage is a popular option for those looking to improve their property’s value.
How do British homeowners pay for household repairs?
- Used savings: 66%
- Added to the mortgage: 14%
- Took out a loan: 10%
- Got a credit card: 4%
- Cut back on essentials: 3%
- Borrowed from family/friends: 3%
How to prepare for unexpected household repairs
Owning your own home can often come with a big price tag - one that doesn’t end once you own your house - especially for those who are paying a mortgage.
Unfortunately, there may be household repairs that you didn’t budget for that require an immediate repair. Luckily, the UK’s most common first household fixes are long-term investments and could, in turn, increase the value of the house. For instance, the likes of kitchen cabinets can last upwards of 50 years, with bathroom suites also lasting around 20 years.
Below, we’ve included some tips to help with saving for any such repairs when you first move into your home:
Set a budget and compare
Compare the different tradespeople and set a budget to ensure your costs do not spiral out of control. If there are several things wrong in the home, list them by priority and ask for quotes from a number of tradespeople/companies before finalising your decision.
Look at the best way to pay
Before committing to the repair, find the payment method that suits you. There are a number of options available to pay for household repairs, including home improvement loans. However, it’s important to make sure you can make all repayments should you borrow the money or take out a loan.