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No gender battle when it comes to DIY, reveals Abbey

Research from Abbey has revealed that when it comes to our ultimate home improvements, one in ten of us would like a bomb shelter, with both men and women showing equal interest in this ultimate security system.  

It&#39s the younger generation who are the most keen, with 12% of people aged between 16 -34 adding this to their wish list for home improvements.

Standard home improvements such as double-glazing, new kitchens and new bathrooms, are still popular, but many are also turning their attention to more personal and individual improvements, for example:

* Outdoor rooms:  one in three want to have the garden landscaped, create a roof garden or build a balcony.

* Cocooning: home comfort is important, with just over half of us wanting a home cinema and gym, and 39% wanting a wine cellar.

* Nouveau naff: home improvements previously considered naff and beyond the pale are making a comeback.  Seventy per cent want a jacuzzi, hot tub or sauna, a third want a snooker room, including a quarter of women, and 30% want a bar.

However, despite the attraction to the nouveau naff, people still can&#39t get rid of their love affair with home designs of the past.  One in ten of us would lovingly restore the original features of a period home, right down to replacing plastic pipes with cast iron ones.  Women, more than men, prefer authentic home features, 38% vs 32%.

Spending money on larger home improvements is mainly an indulgence.  Almost as many people say they commissioned home improvements to satisfy their own individual taste, as much as increasing the value of their home or making it more re-saleable.

When it comes to increasing the value of property, women appear to have the keener commercial eye, with marginally more females than males stating that they commissioned home improvement to increase the property value or because it was cheaper than moving.

It appears that simple DIY has had its day and that the nation&#39s plans have become bigger and bolder in the pursuit for home improvement happiness.  Six in ten people who are planning to improve their home will be turning to the professionals rather than attempting the work themselves.

Cost is no longer the issue it once was, with the vast majority of people no longer interested in the &#39bodge it, just get it done&#39 approach.  Over 80% of people surveyed say they don&#39t mind spending more on home improvements to have the job done properly.

Angus Porter, customer director at Abbey, says: “With house prices still rising, many people cannot afford to move up the property ladder.  But many have access to equity in their own property, which can be put to good use by funding home improvements to re-vamp their home to suit their lifestyle.   

“The speed in which people can access the funds is important too, and Abbey can deliver funds to borrowers within 48 hours of application.

“Our average loan for home improvements is in the region of £20,000 and the most popular improvements being carried out are adding a conservatory, converting the loft, or building an extension. These improvements are also the best way of increasing the value of your home, compared with cosmetic improvements such as a landscaped garden or swimming pool, which may increase the desirability of the property, but are unlikely to ever recoup the investment made.”

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