Along with the UK, Ireland is the country where homeowners are most likely to carry out internal and external painting and decorating themselves, the EU-wide survey found, which was organised by the owners of DIY giant B&Q.

While the assumption might be that home improvement is designed to add value to the property, the majority of those in the Irish survey group said they made improvements simply to ‘refresh the home’; with ‘more home-based entertaining’, and ‘leisure activities’ also cited.

The Irish are also keen gardeners, according to the B&Q survey, willing to tackle their own gardening jobs, and even taking on the ‘grow your own’ trend, producing their own garden vegetables too.

15,000 householders’ attitudes were surveyed, covering France, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Poland, Turkey, Spain and Russia, providing a unique insight into consumer and home improvement trends.

The report also highlights that the majority (66%) of young adults in Ireland, aged between 19 and 24, still live at home with one or both parents, a fact that staff at the B&Q flagship store in Dublin’s Liffey Valley say is leading to more householders adapting their homes for children living with the family longer, and also to accommodate elderly relatives.

Other facts and figured deduced in a report on the survey include:

  • 84% of householders in the Irish survey group plan to spend money on some sort of home improvement in the next year.
  • The keenest gardeners in Europe are in the UK and Ireland, with 81% saying they are happy to take on gardening jobs. The ‘grow your own’ trend is also well established in Ireland, with 26% of those surveyed saying they have started growing vegetables.
  •  More home improvers in Ireland and the UK tackle internal (56%) and external (15%) painting and decorating, without expert help, than in other countries. DIYers here are also most likely to do their own tiling (38%), and insulation (22%) projects, and report high confidence levels in tackling home improvement

“The ‘do it up and sell it on’ property ladder approach of the economic boom years has moved towards a more emotional emphasis on creating a better home to enjoy a better quality of life", says John Brooker of B&Q Ireland. Plus, having got involved in decorating and DIY projects around the home, many of our B&Q customers are actually discovering a great sense of satisfaction in the work”, Brooker adds.

About a third of consumers undertake Do-It-Yourself tasks at least once a month, with one in 10 of these falling into the category of “weekend warriors”, who carry out jobs in their homes on a weekly basis.

Shopping habits, confirmed by B&Q Ireland, show that the internet is used extensively when undertaking home improvement jobs, but mainly for research, comparing prices, and seeking advice, rather than making purchases. 35% of respondents said they buy home improvement products online.

Making their homes eco-friendly is an important issue for consumers across Europe, with 32% saying it is “very important” to them.