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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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Stamp duty costs & the slow housing market in recent years have encouraged homeowners to renovate rather than relocate. But where do we go for our inspiration? Magazines? TV programmes? Exhibitions? Well, according to a recent survey, many of us copy our neighbours! website myjobquote asked 2,113 homeowners if they've ever imitated aspects of a neighbour's house & a whopping 66% admitted that they had! The figure could, in reality, be higher than that, as 19% said they were unsure. Only 15% gave a definite 'no'.

When asked what they'd copied, the homeowners responded: Indoor furniture/items (72%), Colour schemes (57%), Outdoor furniture/items (53%), External house design (45%), Indoor accessories (41%), Garden design (34%), House architecture (29%), Room design (23%), Floor plans (9%).

Respondents recalled a variety of emotions when learning that their designs had been copied: Discomfort (67%) came top, followed by flattered (56%, Challenged/competitive (49%), Violated (42%), Angry/annoyed (31%), Happy/pleased (24%), Anxious (20%), Inspired (18%), Pressured (13%), Sad (10%), Impressed (8%).

Are social pressure and competition the drivers? Apparently so. When asked how pressured they feel to compete with surrounding properties, the most common answer was 'somewhat' (35%). This was followed by 'very' (23%), 'not very' (19%), 'a little' (15%), not at all (7%) and finally, 'depends on the renovation' (1%).

Sadly for our industry, most don't have a huge budget for renovations, with the majority saying £0-£5,000 (31%). This was closely followed by £5,001 - £10,0000 (26%), then £10,001 - £20,000 (17%), £50,001+ (15%), £20,001 - £50,000 (11%).

My thoughts were that the 9% admitting to having copied floorplans must have done so with their neighbours' blessings (as the plans will have had to be shared or handed over), & that the 8% of those who were 'impressed' at being copied must have been the same people. But the 1% difference? What happened there, I wonder?

The survey reminded me of the time I had my roof done and the scaffolder loaned me his contraption for several weeks free of charge so I could regrout the brickwork whilst continuing to display his advertising board. I wondered whether any KBB retailers, fitters, or manufacturers ever offer discounts to those who are willing to place similar boards outside their homes, inviting passers-by to make an appointment to view the renovations. Judging by the survey here, it might just bring in some extra business, don't you think?


Jan Hobbs



28th January 2020

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