One year ago, the future of the DIY market seemed bleak. Markets were predicting the ‘death of DIY’ after surveys suggested young people would rather employ a professional tradesperson than attempt DIY projects themselves, and national DIY retailers were openly discussing their ‘challenging years’ and ‘difficult periods of falling sales’.

Fast forward to now, and the outlook seems very different. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown during the Spring caused families to spend many more hours in their homes, and since shops reopened and people have been able to move around again, the construction industry has seen a renewed focus on DIY and home interior projects, as people look to upgrade their homes and gardens.

The 2020 swing back to home improvement and DIY is so marked, that it has even prompted Channel 4 to announce a revival of that much-loved TV staple Changing Rooms, which brought DIY home improvements to the masses in the late 1990s.

For W.Howard, the trend is no different. Since the end of the national lockdown, we have seen a surge in interest from builders looking for our MDF architrave and skirting products, after being asked to renovate dated bathrooms and kitchens, while our Kota™ fully finished range of MDF mouldings are also flying off the shelves, as DIY enthusiasts keen to take on their next challenge look for simple-to-fit products that don’t need painting after installation. Kota™ uses advanced Eastman Cerfis™ technology to create interior mouldings with a unique, white smooth coating that comes factory finished, and doesn’t need painting or finishing – saving time and money, and making it less daunting for DIYers to fit.

W.Howard has based its latest Wall Panelling Kit range on similar principles, creating a product that provides a high-quality Period ‘tongue-and-groove- style in any room. The panels come ready primed for painting in any colour to suit a room’s décor, and can be installed quickly and easily using instant grip adhesive.

It seems unlikely that this resurgence of DIY will slow down over the coming months. The temporary stamp duty holiday has reinvigorated the housing market, with thousands more houses on the market as people look to take advantage of the savings. This is likely to lead to more home improvements as people prepare their homes for sale, or, once they have moved into a new home, set about making it their own.

For those who are nervous of the uncertain economic outlook, simple and cost-effective DIY projects offer them a way to improve their current properties without the stress of moving, so however long the pandemic lasts, and whether or not the UK heads back into a long recession, the latest surge of interest in DIY looks here to stay – and what better way to improve a home than to upgrade the skirting and architrave with new, quality MDF mouldings?