Home improvements thrive in lockdown

A new Aviva study gives a glimpse into home life under lockdown, with properties and homeownership aspirations all impacted.

The insurer interviewed

more than 2,000 UK residents in May 2020 – six weeks into lockdown – regarding their current behaviours and future goals. Selected findings are compared with a similar Aviva survey carried out in December 2019. The research revealed:

Homes receive a touch of TLC

85% of UK residents have undertaken home improvement activities during the lockdown

time for home decorating. A previous Aviva study found seven in 10 homeowners ignored problems in their properties. But with more time at home, a fifth of householders (21%) have tackled home maintenance issues during lockdown.

Home ownership

period, with decluttering proving most popular, a task carried out by more than half the population (56%). Gardening

came second, with a close 52% of UK

residents testing out their green fingers, while more than a quarter (26%) have used the

London decorating and hardware merchant extends hours to meet demand

aspirations have shifted Aviva research from December 2019 found that 68% of non- homeowners hoped to buy a property in the future. But this has now fallen to just 52% of non-homeowners.

In line with this, the number of

under-25s hoping to get on the property ladder in the next five

years has decreased from 35% in December 2019 to 27% in May 2020.

The number of households looking to trade up to a bigger property has also fallen from 10% to 8%, suggesting the current housing market is causing people to put plans on hold.

Lockdown has changed the way we use online services The Aviva study also reveals that lockdown has accelerated the way we are using online services and video technology. Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, 30% of UK residents aged 55+ used video calls. This has now risen to 38% of this age group, an increase of 26%. Online grocery shopping has also increased marginally within this age bracket from 36% prior to lockdown to 38% during - although it has fallen considerably overall from 46% to 37%, suggesting people may

Research shows 50% of decorators affected by mental health Dulux Select Decorators has

increased the range of support it offers its members to help them counter mental health challenges. Dulux research identified how

widespread these issues are within the trade - with half of all decorators admitting they have been affected by mental health issues over the past five years. In a bid to support those

A London decorating and hardware merchant has extended its opening hours after

reporting a surge in

demand for products from professional tradespeople and DIY enthusiasts during lockdown.

Leyland SDM, which has 23 branches across the capital, will open from 7am-5pm, Monday to Friday, 7.30am-5pm on Saturday and 10am-3pm on Sundays. The new opening hours came into force on Monday, June 1. National statistics show that

more than 60 per cent of people have started a DIY project during lockdown. Strict

social distancing

guidelines have been introduced by Leyland SDM to ensure branches can operate safely,

while the contact-free delivery service has also proved popular. A handful of branches have closed for a period during lockdown - but only the Goodge Street shop remains shut now. Jonathan Jennings, chief executive of Leyland SDM, said: “One of the big reported consequences of the lockdown is that people have been embarking on DIY projects which they may have previously been putting off, and we certainly have seen evidence of that. “We have seen strong demand for products, tools and materials, both from professional tradespeople and the general public.

period for

“It has been a very challenging the entire country

but, thanks to the patience and

who are struggling, earlier this year Dulux Select Decorators launched a Mental Health First Aid Course for members. To date 16 volunteers have taken up the call - supporting their colleagues by becoming Mental Health First Aiders, who provide confidential help and advice. With the arrival of lockdown in March the challenges have become more acute, as government-imposed restrictions forced as many as 70% of decorators to down tools overnight. In response, Dulux Select Decorators has partnered with the Rainy Day Trust to provide confidential professional support and services for members. Rainy Day Trust

is the only charity which exists solely to help

understanding of our customers and professionalism of our teams across the branch network, we have

been able to continue

trading in a safe manner which has enabled us to adhere to the social distancing guidelines outlined by the government. “We are now in a position to extend our opening hours at both ends of the day and re-introduce Sunday

opening across

have had difficulty obtaining delivery slots. Interestingly, the number of

internet-enabled devices per UK household has increased from 10.3 in December 2019 to 11.6 in May 2020. However, while technology proved

has crucial during

lockdown to maintain business services and social connections, there are a number of areas where online usage has fallen dramatically.

Just 29% of UK people have shopped for clothes online during lockdown, compared to 69% under normal circumstances. Online takeaway orders have almost halved from 50% to 27%, while

appointment bookings

(e.g. health, restaurants) have - understandably - shrunk from 50% to 10%.


people who have worked in the UK’s home improvement and enhancement industry, offering grants and financial support alongside training, counselling and legal services Vickie Mather, Dulux Select Decorators Lead, said: “The wellbeing of our Dulux Select Decorators

is of paramount

importance to us. Our research confirmed what we already believed, which is that the trade at large is prone to mental health challenges and with the advent of lockdown we have seen many of these issues magnified. “We are delighted that 16 of our members took up the call to be Mental Health First Aiders. They’re playing a valuable role in ensuring our community gets through these challenging times.” The research carried out by Dulux shone a spotlight on the extent that members of the trade struggle with mental health, finding that 84% had experienced some issue in the last five years. It also discovered that half of decorators admit they wouldn’t feel confident in speaking up if they were struggling while 45% say they would not know where to turn for advice.

branches, helping our trade customers carrying out essential repairs and maintenance and people doing jobs in their own home.”


Leyland SDM offers more than 22,000 products with its branches located on prominent high streets across the London area, including Chelsea, Kensington, Shaftesbury Avenue and Victoria.

n spoga+gafa garden trade show 2020 in Cologne, Germany, is set to go ahead from 6-8 September 2020. n Gardenex and PetQuip are holding a series of virtual Meet the International Buyer events, following the success of the first of its kind organised by the Federation. n The HTA has received 48 entries for its Virtual New Plant Awards 2020. The Awards would normally have been heldin June during the National Plant Show, but following cancellation of the Show, it was decided that the Plant Awards would be held as a ‘virtual’ online event this year. n GIMA hosted a virtual Meet the Buyer session with Homebase on Thursday 25 June 2020. This speed networking event allowed potential suppliers to meet with key garden retailer buyers in timed 20-minute appointment sessions. n Travis Perkins has announced the appointment of Emma Rose as the Group’s new HR director with immediate effect. Rose joins the business from Kerry Foods, where she was HR director.


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