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  • Updating your home during a cost of living crisis?

    July 21st, 2023

    Thinking of updating your home but worried about the impact the cost of living crisis will have on your project?  With increasing energy costs and food prices along with high inflation rates, we are all feeling the pinch and have less disposable income. House moves may have been put off, but it still is possible to transform living spaces on a budget and give rooms a new lease of life.


    Editions Essential Natural Oak

    White luxury kitchen.


    Historically ‘doing it yourself’ has allowed you to shop around for the best value in products and can make updating your home more affordable than if you were paying someone else for their labour. And whilst costs may have risen in the DIY sector, the range of choice available has also increased providing options for most budgets. 


    On the other hand, using a contractor will often mean you get a discounted price for materials as well as their expertise for a professional installation – but overall the cost will be higher as you will need to cover their time.


    Researching materials for a project can be time consuming and many are ordered from overseas, causing delays in supply chain distribution and additional pricing pressures – coupled with an increase in demand for product also affecting stock levels and price. 


    It’s not just at home DIYers, Contractors are feeling the pinch from the cost of living crisis with material cost increases and are having to adjust their quotes in accordance with this.

    According to the Building Materials and Components Statistics for May 2023, the cost of material for All Work increased year on year by 4.7% 2022/23


    DIY or Contractor? 

    As mentioned already, there are pros and cons to both – but consider the two most important factors when you’re making an update to your home, budget and skill.



    You have full control over the cost of your project if you take on the responsibility to source materials and install yourself.  There are no hidden costs when you manage your own project and with the wide range of brands and products available you can select the best option for your budget and shop around for deals


    If you use a contractor, they should be able to get you the materials at a discounted price but you will then need to include their time on top, along with any additional costs should they need to bring in other trades.  If you opt for this route, ensure you get a couple of different quotes and also get it in writing so there are no surprises at the end.


    Show Room



    Alongside budget this is really the main decision factor. It can be much more cost effective to undertake DIY projects if you are confident in your skills, maximising your budget for the best materials, especially when disposable income is less. 


    Carrying out DIY projects in your home can also provide you with a great sense of achievement and pride, knowing that your accomplishments have added value to your home. Channels such as YouTube can help by providing tutorials on anything you need to know from upcycling furniture to installing flooring.


    It’s worth noting though that despite the potential cost savings, with any DIY project there are always risks.  Your health and safety should be key to getting the job done whether you are a newbie to DIY or an old pro.


    Be aware of any regulations you need to comply with.  You may need permits or licences, which could end up with a costly fine if not complied with.


    Additionally, your experience and any lack of expertise could run the risk of mistakes being made and result in additional help from a professional which would add to the costs.



    When you are in charge of your own project, you can take a phased approach at completing the job.  Often, your DIY projects have to fit in around other commitments such as work and family so you can take a phased approach at completing the job which takes the pressure off and allows you time to reassess your plans and budget.


    Kid-proof kitchens


    Costing out a Project

    A good place to start costing out your project is sites such as Checkatrade.com where you can find information on a wide range of products and local tradesmen. There are also plenty of articles plus retailers online and a quick internet search should give you some ballpark ideas of costs no matter what you want to do.


    Look for products that are easy for a DIY project and don’t require a high level of complexity.  Also those that have been developed or engineered to reduce the need for other materials or high levels of preparation, all of which will keep costs down – ideal when you’re updating your home during a cost of living crisis.


    PRO-TEK™ luxury click vinyl is an innovation in flooring, offering the same look and feel as wood floors but engineered to offer great value with money saving features such as a built-in underlay avoiding the need for additional materials. The click lock mechanism makes it quick and easy to lay for even the DIY novice and it can be installed directly over most floor types, again negating costs for preparation. With a lifetime residential warranty as well this is one cost you won’t need to repeat in a few years.


    See how fast it is to install a Pro-Tek floor.


    We are all impacted by the cost of living crisis but shopping around for the best products and prices means you can still undertake projects and create the perfect space, even with little or no DIY experience.


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