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.

home with white front door

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Brent Darby)

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.

room with white window seats

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Brent Darby)

‘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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