Hungarians eager to refurbish or extend homes – a recent survey by Energiaklub

Our comprehensive survey examined the refurbishment and conversion plans of Hungarian households with a mansard or loft in cooperation with VELUX Hungary Ltd. The results show that Hungarians are motivated to extend or refurbish their homes mostly by a growing family or comfort issues. Respondents typically cover construction cost from own resources, only slightly more than a quarter of them would take a bank loan. Trust in construction experts is high, but when it comes to the purchase of necessary building supplies, discounts and first-hand experience are also among the most important factors.

The survey shows that the main motivating factors of mansard conversion are a growing family and the children’s age, while in cases of refurbishment the amortization of living spaces is the most important factor. 45% of those who plan mansard conversion say that they would extend their homes because of their growing children and a higher demand for private living space. The number of children is also important: 32% would convert their mansard because the family has simply grown out of the lower floors of the house.Growing families and amortization of spaces are the main motivatorsGenerations living together play a role in construction, but a much less important one: only 5% of the respondents would convert the mansard in order to live separately from parents, another 5% would do so because of a senior relative moving in. The main reason for refurbishment is the breakdown of equipment (56%) followed by a high level of energy waste. Many plan refurbishment because the mansard is not bright enough, warms up in the summer or when acoustic insulation is needed.Home development based principally on own resources Although many households don’t have enough money for construction, 63% would cover conversion costs from own resources, with only 29% taking a bank loan. One-fifth of respondents would apply for state support. They might welcome the national housing benefit program for families with children (CSOK) launched after the closing of the survey that supports mansard conversion as well.The proportion of those who would cover refurbishment costs from own resources is even higher (79%), only 15% of them would take a bank loan, 19% would apply for a grant.High level of trust in construction expertsRespondents rely mostly on expert opinion in construction decisions. Both converters and refurbishers show a similar tendency: 4 out of 5 people trust the designer, experts and craftspeople. Those who plan conversion also consider the building contractor as a trusted person (65%). Half of the respondents rely heavily on the opinion of friends and relatives.When planning refurbishment it’s very important to see the products in the store (79%) and decisions are affected by discounts as well (77%). Another important factor is the option for home delivery and earlier experience of the product or the store.Expert opinion is also important in shopping decisions, 82% of refurbishers would rather buy a product suggested by them.Hungarians don’t waste timeThe results show that once the idea of conversion or refurbishment is born, the actual construction decisions are made relatively soon. Conversion decisions are ready in an average of 11 months, refurbishment decisions in 7 months. Homeowners estimate an average of 8 months to complete conversion, 3 months for refurbishment.The survey was carried out in cooperation with VELUX Hungary Ltd. The methodology consisted of two parts: a focus group in July 2015 and a telephone survey of 8092 households between September and December 2015 surveyed the proportion of households with a convertible mansard and their conversion and refurbishment characteristics. How households in Hungary refurbish their homes: