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Homeowners in East of England Overspend on Everyday Home Items

15 Oct Homeowners in East of England Overspend on Everyday Home Items

Homeowners in the East of England spend almost £20,300 over their lifetime replacing the gadgets, appliances and furnishings they use the most in their homes, according to new research.

From small electrical goods like the kettle, which is boiled a whopping 1,548 times per year, to larger pieces of furniture, such as the living room sofa, which homeowners in the region sit on over 1,488 times during the same time period, residents are spending a small fortune replacing the goods they use the most day-to-day.

The research, conducted by Origin, the leading British window and door brand, reveals the goods that get the most wear and tear over the course of the year and therefore where homeowners in the East of the country should invest in the best quality to avoid having to regularly spend on replacements.

The kitchen kettle is the most used furnishing in the home, closely followed by the living room sofa. The front door is opened and closed 1,463 times per year, but it also takes an extra battering during family rows, as 31 percent of those living in the region admit to slamming it when emotions run high. The TV (used 1,378 times), a favourite armchair (used 965 times), the wardrobe (used 633 times) and the cooker (used 577 times), also make the list.

The study also investigated how often Brits upgrade each gadget, appliance and piece of furniture. This revealed that many homeowners have a ‘throwaway’ attitude to home goods. Small electrical items, such as a kettle and toaster, are generally replaced every five years, while larger, more expensive items, such as a sofa or armchair, are upgraded as frequently as every nine years.

When the rate of replacement is analysed alongside how much homeowners are willing to spend on each of the top ten most used objects in the home, it sets the combined replacement costs at almost £20,300 over the lifetime of the average homeowner in the East of England.

For example, homeowners are willing to spend £41 on a new kettle, according to the research. A replacement every four years means that they will buy nearly 15 throughout their lifetime – spending over £615 on this essential kitchen gadget alone.

Ben Brocklesby, Director at Origin, said: “We were interested to find out which goods and furnishings in the home are put through their paces on a daily basis, and therefore where homeowners can actually save money in the long run by buying better quality. By making a simple change in looking out for products with guarantees over and above the industry standard, particularly when replacing the most used items in their property, they can be reassured that their goods will stand the test of time.”

According to the national research, only a third of residents believe sustainability is important when buying new furniture and pieces for their home. A quarter prefer to buy cheaper home items so that they can be regularly replaced, while 28 percent admit to replacing things when they look worn, even if they still work properly.

Ben Brocklesby continues: “As a nation, we need to be more aware of the effect our buying decisions have, not just on our own wallets, but also the environment. In fashion, the concept of a ‘capsule’ wardrobe has been applied to help support this way of thinking. Consumers buy fewer clothes but invest in high quality brands they can wear again and again, getting more cost per wear. This is something we all now need to consider when we buy and replace items in the home, particularly those we use most often.”

Despite this throwaway trend for items used the most, older items, particularly those that hold a sentimental value, play a pivotal part in what makes a house a home. Over 60 percent say it’s important for a home to contain signs it’s lived in, while the same number believe that a ‘lived in’ home is more homely. Nearly 40 percent value furniture that holds sentimental value.

Imperfections, such as worn chairs and marks on the walls, are what makes a house a home for more than a quarter of homeowners (26 percent). The same number feel that they grow a sentimental attachment to furniture and home items the longer they are owned. In fact, 68 percent of those asked hold an emotional attachment to a home furnishing, including their favourite mug (32 percent), glassware (18 percent) or a much-loved armchair (10 percent).