Home Is Where the Heart Is - Third of Brits Love Their Homes More Than Their Partners

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Research out today reveals that people spend 79 percent more money on home improvements than they do on improving their relationship with their partner, with more than a third of people (35 percent) admitting they care more about their home than their loved one. Rated Tradesmen, an on-line service that matches tradesmen to customer-submitted jobs, questioned more than 1,000 homeowners to find out how emotionally attached people are to their homes.

An Englishman's - and woman's - home is their castle and it seems when it comes to matters of the heart, bricks and mortar pull more strings than a romantic relationship with a partner. Indeed, a fifth of homeowners place more value on a good relationship with a tradesmen than they do their partner.

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British homeowners spend an average of £34 a week - £1,768 a year - on interior and exterior home improvements compared with only a measly £19 a week on improving their relationship with their partner. Nearly four out of ten (38 percent) women and a third of men (32 percent) say that they would be more upset if the foundations of their house fell down rather than the foundations of their relationship. And one in five (21 percent) homeowners say a good relationship with tradesmen is more important than a good relationship with a partner.

Andrew Skipwith, founder of Rated Tradesmen, comments: "An Englishman's - and woman's - home is their castle and it seems when it comes to matters of the heart, bricks and mortar pull more strings than a romantic relationship with a partner. Indeed, a fifth of homeowners place more value on a good relationship with a tradesmen than they do their partner."

However, despite some homeowners loving tradesmen more than their partners, seven out of ten (68 percent) have had a bad relationship with UK tradesmen saying they were 'unhappy' or 'very unhappy' with the level of service they have received. A massive 34 percent have employed another tradesman to correct a previous tradesman's mistakes whilst 15 percent try and improve on a bad job themselves with a spot of DIY. Fourteen percent of homeowners who experienced unsatisfactory work preferred to do nothing and put it down to experience rather than face the hassle of a dispute.

People from London come top of the home-lovers league spending £42 a week on home improvements. Homeowners in the Midlands (£38) and North East (£37) come second and third respectively, whilst propping up the bottom of the league come Scottish homeowners spending only £26 a week on home improvements.

Skipwith adds: "For most people their house is their most valuable asset so it's no surprise that people have such an emotional attachment to it. When it comes to dealing with tradesman it's so important you have a close, trusting relationship as you're often spending more money on home improvements than you are on your partner - and if you end up single at least you won't have a leaky roof over your head."

Notes to Editors:

  • Rated Tradesmen is the UK's most popular web community bringing together customers and highly skilled tradespeople (according to latest Alexa Rankings - 18 October 2006).
  • Once registered on the site, tradesmen receive details of customer-submitted jobs that match their work interests and local area. After quoting for and completing a job, the customer then rates the tradesman on quality, value and reliability for other homeowners to see.
  • Tradespeople interested in joining the online community and customers seeking more information should contact Rated Tradesmen by calling 0870 220 8820 or visit the Website.

Results at a Glance:

  • Average amount people spend on home improvements in a week is £34
  • Average amount people invest in home improvements in a year is £1,768
  • Average amount people spend on a relationship a week is £19 (on gifts, meals out, flowers, etc)
  • Average amount people spend on a relationship in a year is £988

If a tradesman did a bad job, homeowners would:

  • Employ another tradesman to improve the work (36 percent)
  • Seek help from a consumer advice service such as Consumer Direct or the Office of Fair Trading (22 percent)
  • Try and improve the job yourself through DIY (15 percent)
  • Nothing, put it down to experience (14 percent)
  • Give the tradesman more money to sort the problem out (13 percent)

League table of top home-lovers:

  • London -- £42 spent on home improvements
  • Midlands -- £38
  • North East -- £37
  • South West -- £36
  • Wales -- £35
  • North West -- £35
  • West Midlands -- £33
  • Yorkshire -- £32
  • East -- £30
  • South East -- £27
  • Scotland -- £26

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