Self Build Suppliers Reopen Their Doors As Lockdown Restrictions Ease

Self builders and renovators have faced numerous challenges in recent months, but suppliers are now beginning to reopen and this means home improvers are better equipped to access resources needed for their projects.

It’s too soon to claim a semblance of normality is returning, but there are positive signs that the homebuilding industry is embracing the easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures.

The construction industry has returned to work, the housing market has reopened, and several major builders’ merchants have reopened their stores in some capacity.

And now, with showrooms reopening and virtual consultations enabling more effective communication with suppliers and tradespeople, those working on self build or renovation projects can afford to feel more confident about their builds.

(MORE: How to Maximise the Efficiency of Your Project During Lockdown)

Showrooms Reopen

This week, bifold and sliding doors specialist Kloeber announced that it will be reopening its showrooms on Tuesday 26 May, albeit with strict new procedures in place. 

The showrooms will be operating an appointment-only basis, with reduced opening hours, and will include gel stations throughout.

This is a positive announcement for self builders, with Kloeber offering a bespoke self build service designed to make

Beat the Queues: Top Tips to Avoid the Tips

Lockdown restrictions are easing and subsequently many tips across the UK are reopening, but with widespread queues, it might be worth looking at alternative ways to dispose of your waste. 

Homeowners are understandably keen to dispose of waste accrued during lockdown, and many have the same idea. Tips are reopening under social distancing measures, and the race is on to join the queues.  

There have been a myriad of reports this week of staggering queues in Leicester, Derby, Bristol and Hull, among other cities. In some cities, people were left queuing for up to three hours, while police have had to shut down queues when recycling centre capacity has been reached.

This had led to councils and police forces taking action to urge caution when travelling to recycling sites. Hull City Council committed to collecting more bulky items from residents’ homes, while Derbyshire police took to Twitter earlier this week to warn drivers about what to expect. 

Homeowners to Spend Over £61bn on Home Improvements Post-Lockdown

The UK is preparing to spend £61.8bn on home improvements when Covid-19 lockdown restrictions lift, a new survey reports. 

Research from Checkatrade reveals that each homeowner will spend an average of £1,179 on home improvements once lockdown has ended.

The survey of 2,000 homeowners also identified that 53% have observed things wrong with their home during lockdown, and 35% are planning to renovate entire rooms.

Existing kitchens and bathrooms came out as the rooms homeowners disliked the most in their homes. 

(MORERenovating a Bathroom: How to Design the Perfect Space)

Common causes for improvement included wanting to redecorate (40%), craving more space (28%), needing greater storage (27%) and removing old wallpaper (16%).

Mike Fairman, CEO at Checkatrade, said: “The phrase ‘the home is where the heart is’ has never been truer but living looking at the same four walls for weeks on end is enough to make anyone crave a refresh or refurb.” 

The Plot Thickens

To manage living in lockdown, 39% took to creating new spaces, with vegetable plots the most popular new space created. New workstations and playrooms were among the other spaces created.

  1.       Vegetable plots
  2.       Workstations                         
  3.       Garden oasis                                       
  4.       Outside social space                                    
  5.       Home gym                             

First Homes Scheme Poses Affordable Homes Risk, Housing Association Warns

The government’s First Homes policy could lead to thousands fewer affordable homes if Section 106 proposals are actioned, according to the G15 housing association.

The First Homes scheme will aim to deliver affordable homes for first-time buyers across England, providing applicants with 30% off new build homes, which could provide a saving of £94,000 (based on new build properties in England costing £314,000 on average). 

The 30% deposit applies across the deposit and mortgage requirements, but according to the National Housing Federation and the Local Government Association, even a 50% discount would not be affordable to median-income households. 

The government is prioritising access for military veterans and key workers including nurses, police officers and firefighters. But the scheme has previously been criticised by organisations including Shelter, which claimed around 96% of average earners in England will still be unable to afford a home.

Now, G15, which represents London’s largest housing associations, says the proposal to pay for these discounts through Section 106 planning contributions would deliver 3,629 fewer affordable homes. 

“The prospect of removing approximately 50% of the current supply route to the market by using Section 106 to deliver First Homes is of great concern,” said G15.

A consultation

Four Reasons to Give DIY Plumbing a Try

Content Supplied by Plumb Doctor Live

From leaky taps to broken radiators, getting stuck into common plumbing issues on a DIY basis could save homeowners in the UK hundreds of pounds and countless hours waiting on calling in professional plumbers for simple tasks. 

With the help of modern technology, utilising YouTube tutorials, comprehensive online how-to guides and even video-calling with experts to help walk-through issues, homeowners are able to learn how to empower themselves with DIY knowledge like never before. 

Learn Skills From Professionals

Less than 50% of homeowners under 40 feel confident fixing problems around the house, despite a plethora of information at their fingertips but apps like Plumb Doctor Live offer the opportunity to learn from professionals using video calls. Their experts talk directly to homeowners through fixing issues, answering any questions and enabling future independent solutions.

Save Money

Whether trying to renovate on a budget or just sick of getting ripped off by tradespeople for simple jobs, learning how to complete plumbing jobs single-handedly could save hundreds of pounds. Fixing a leaky tap for instance, only takes a wrench and a couple of minutes of your time but in 2019, plumbing call-outs cost homeowners in the UK

Housing Demand Hits Highest Level in Nine Weeks, Data Reveals

Demand for housing is now at the highest level since the second week of March, according to new research.

Estate agency Knight Frank has published data showing the number of new prospective buyers registering in the week ending 16 May was the highest in nine weeks. 

The government reopened the housing market last week, enabling transactions and home visits to resume providing social distancing is adhered to, and the impact has been immediate.

James Clarke, head of London sales at Knight Frank, said: “Last week saw the first flicker of what we believe will be a strong surge in activity. In these early days it has become clear that the market will spring back to life more forcefully than most people would have imagined only a few weeks ago.”

The government estimates that more than 450,000 people have been unable to progress their plans to move home since lockdown measures were introduced on 23 March. 

The majority of house moves have been on hold since then, with those in the middle of buying a house only allowed to move if “reasonably necessary” during the Covid-19 crisis.

Knight Frank reported last month that viewings plummeted 98% compared to the same period