Exclusive: Most consumers WILL carry on with kbb projects, kbbreview survey reveals

Consumers do want to carry on with the kitchen and bathroom projects they had planned before the lockdown, according to a major survey commissioned by kbbreview publisher Taylist Media.

The survey, conducted by industry specialist research company Trend Monitor, asked over 1,000 ABC1 homeowners about their thoughts on kbb projects.

Of those who were already planning a new kitchen or bathroom, 80% said they had put the project on hold because of lockdown restrictions. But just over half of these (56%) said it was mainly down to the supplier or contractor being unable to do it or get hold of the required products.

This is compared to 30% who said the brakes had been applied because of their own financial concerns, and 14% who said it was because the household was self-isolating.

Overall, only 7% of projects were cancelled altogether and, in fact, 13% went ahead despite the lockdown.

As we are still in a slow lift of the lockdown, homeowners do have understandable uncertainty about their own financial circumstances but the good news for the kbb sector is that almost 1 in 5 projects currently on hold will be restarting as soon as possible, with a further 31% planning to restart when restrictions are lifted.

Only 3% think it is unlikely their project will go ahead within the next 12 months.

Where a project has been put on hold due to supply issues, 24% of consumers expect their project to restart as soon as possible, only 2% are not confident at all and feel that their project is unlikely to happen within 12 months.

“The results of this survey are very encouraging for the kbb industry as a whole and although understandably there is consumer caution especially where there has been a reduction in the household income, it would appear homeowners are keen for their kitchen and bathroom projects to recommence as soon as reasonably possible” said Jane Blakeborough, research director at Trend-Monitor.

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Many in the industry have anecdotally said they believe that a new demand is building thanks to consumers being stuck at home and realising how tired their currents kitchens and bathrooms are.

So the survey asked those who said they weren’t planning a home improvement project before the lockdown if spending more time at home had made them consider it once the restrictions were lifted.

And more than one in six said that it did.

Although smaller projects such as replacing the toilet and basin in the downstairs cloakroom
(22%) or replacing the kitchen worktops (18%) were in the top three projects to undertake, replacing the main bathroom was also high on the list (21%) and also replacing the kitchen
(16%).

“This is a hugely encouraging snapshot of the way consumers are thinking as we emerge from the lockdown,” said Taylist Media managing editor Andrew Davies. “There are two big findings here that confirm for definite what many in the industry were hoping, firstly that those who were planning projects will continue as soon as possible, and the second is that there is a building demand for new projects from people who have been stuck at home.

“It’s clear that the uncertainty for many is, unsurprisingly, based on their own finances but that means they are not uncertain about still wanting that new kitchen or bathroom once they are sure their job is secure.

“Likewise, I believe the demand for new projects will only increase as that job security becomes clear too.”

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