We all know children cost a lot. But many parents hope that when their offspring leave home they’ll take their expense with them.

If this is what you’re waiting for, you could be in for a nasty shock, as new figures show that many children who have flown the nest are still relying on their parents – and sometimes grandparents – to fund improvements on their home.

Research from Post Office Money Savings has revealed that nearly one in five (16%) of parents and grandparents are paying for their children’s home improvements.

That’s no measly amount, when you consider that people in the UK spend nearly £30bn in total on home and DIY improvements each year.

And for many parents and grandparents, the help they give to their children and grandchildren means cutting back on improvements to their own home.

According to the poll, 14% of parents and grandparents are sacrificing making improvements to their own home in order to support their older children.

Parents are now going to even further lengths to support their children financially

Henk Van Hulle, director of Post Office Money
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Henk Van Hulle, director of Post Office Money said: “Parents are now going to even further lengths to support their children financially, not only by providing help when they’re purchasing their first home, but also paying for their home improvements.

“Although parents may feel obliged to continue supporting their children - even once they have moved out – they too will have financial goals they aspire to. 

“Following last year’s pension reforms, those aged 55 and above have access to a lump sum of their savings.

“While this might provide them with the opportunity to provide further support for children and grandchildren, it is important they continue to think about their own financial stability.”

14% of parents and grandparents are sacrificing their own home improvements to help their children. Image by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

14% of parents and grandparents are sacrificing their own home improvements to help their children. Image by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

The Post Office poll comes after Sainsbury’s Bank revealed that four in 10 people taking out a loan of £25,000 or more were doing it to fund home improvements. 

The research by the bank, which has increased its personal loans to offer up to £40,000, suggests that many people may be choosing to use loans to improve their current home, rather than moving to a new one.

The poll, carried out by Opinium Research, found that 12% of those surveyed carried out home improvements costing more than £25,000 in the past two years.

Of the respondents, 14% said they had used a personal loan, 8% had remortgaged, and nearly half (47%) had cashed in all or part of their savings.

According to ONS figures released in December, the total amount spent on home improvements in the UK, including DIY improvements like double glazing, kitchen units and sheds amounted to £29.95bn.