Keep up with the Joneses? No thanks – boastful Brits want to be one step ahead

Turns out we're a nation of curtain-twitchers with 31% of us making home improvements simply to out-do our neighbours in the interior style stakes

Where once we started our home improvements plans by browsing a few magazines, we’re now checking out our neighbours’ houses first – and aiming to do better.

New research from Anglian Home Improvements, suppliers of uPVC windows and conservatories, has found that 31% of Brits make home improvements just to have the best house on the street.

As we clamour to keep up with neighbours, the average Brit has spent £2,706 in the last couple of years – while one in eight have parted with more than £5,000 on improvements in the last two years.

Keeping up appearances: 31% of Brits make home improvements just to have the best house on the street  IPC Images

And it seems we’re happy to spend on these home improvements, with 26% making changes to their property several times a year.

Half of those surveyed are planning to fit a new kitchen or bathroom, while one in four dream of having a conservatory.

There’s a fair bit of curtain-twitching going on, too. One in six take a peek at their neighbours’ home improvements from afar, or even show up on the doorstep to take a closer look at what’s going on.

This one-upmanship between neighbours can get heated – as one in ten have fallen out with neighbours over disagreements about noise, planning permission and improvements not being in-keeping with the street.

Here's looking at you: One in six take a peek at their neighbours' home improvements from afar, or even show up on the doorstep to take a closer look inside  IPC Images

‘We often find that once one household has had its windows upgraded we’ll get called back to visit others in the same street enquiring about new windows or a conservatory,’ says Melanie McDonald, Head of Marketing and Communications at Anglian Home Improvements.

‘The survey shows that we’re still a house-proud nation and it’s as important as ever to keep up appearances.’

So, as the neighbours trill ‘Anything you can do, I can do better…’, stay one step ahead and call in the architect.

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