A helping hand for those looking to create their dream home


At a time when the housing market and the economy are continuing to struggle, a recent national survey shows 3.7million over 50s could be looking to make major alterations to their home in the next 12 months. And this could even help support UK growth.

The Saga survey of more than 10,000 over 50s also showed the most popular alterations were new kitchens (31%) and bathrooms (31%).

Other popular improvements include conservatories (10%). 

By far the biggest reason for making alterations is to keep up with new fashions and modernise their property (44%). 

Almost one in ten of those making alterations are hoping to create their dream home.

Many say they will alter their existing home, rather than buying a new one, because they are concerned about the cost of moving; 39% of over 50s cite this as a reason for not moving home.

Staying idependent for longer

Whilst some are planning their dream homes, a third (29%) of people aged 75 and over say they are making major alterations to allow them to stay in their homes and therefore remain independent for longer.

The costs of making their plans could become easier as a result of an initiative which Saga is supporting. 

More than one fifth of those planning an alteration expected the cost of an architect would be more than £200 an hour.

But the good news is that by signing up for this year’s Architect in the House fundraising campaign they could get one hour of  professional advice without charge, although there is a suggested donation of just £40.

Saga is supporting the scheme for the second year running. The scheme allows people to get an hour’s consultation with an RIBA chartered architect in their local area to discuss any home improvement ideas, and participants can make a donation to Shelter.

People can register at www.architectinthehouse.org.uk  from 16th April until 6 pm on 11th July.

Dr Ros Altmann, Director General of Saga commented: “We are really pleased to be supporting such a worthy charity, which improves the lives of homeless people and of people with housing needs.  We are also happy to be able to help people get advice from a professional architect, which could be the difference between a DIY disaster and a show home success.”