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‘Making a home warm and snug’ voted as top way to make a house a home

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Brits spend £5,044 personalising space

By Bianca London for MailOnline

Published: 08:58 EDT, 2 November 2012 | Updated: 08:58 EDT, 2 November 2012

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They say home is where the heart is, but according to a new study, a house doesn’t officially become a home until 17 months and 12 days after you move in.

During that time the average Brit will have spent £5,044 personalising their space – first the living room, followed by the main bedroom and kitchen.

Four out of ten homeowners said they didn’t feel they could properly call their house a home until they stopped receiving the previous owner’s mail and one in five say a house isn’t officially a home until they’re on first name terms with the neighbours.

It takes months for home-owners to make their house feel like a home and they spend thousands on decorating

Spokesman Craig Dodsworth said: ‘There are many aspects that go into creating a real home and we all have a seemingly never-ending to do list for things we hope to improve.

‘But it seems as well as improving the environments we live in we have to experience certain moments or aspects of life under a roof in order to call it a home.

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‘We’re very territorial and it’s no surprise to see that we like to feel a place is really ours by quickly getting rid of the previous owner’s influence on the property.’

The study found experiencing a first Christmas, hosting a barbecue, two family visits and having at least six framed photos are big factors to feeling settled.

Planting your own garden is one of the top ten ways of making a home feel like your own

Laying new carpets, doing up the bathroom and ripping out the kitchen were named as key areas to focus on in the house, while fitting new windows was also high up on the to-do list.

Nearly half of the survey, carried out by Planitherm glass, insisted that for a house to really feel a home, all signs and traces of the previous owners need to be removed.

It takes decorating at least four rooms for the average Brit to feel the place where they live is really theirs, while forty per cent insist they have to tackle every room in the house to be content.

The average property owner had lived in their current property for over seven years, but one in four still didn’t consider it a ‘home’. And some people aren’t in much of a hurry – 28 per cent are still yet to fully unpack.

In fact, it takes the average homeowner six months and 15 days to unpack completely when moving to a new property.

Craig Dodsworth added: ‘The results show just how important it is to feel warm and comfortable in the place we call home but it takes almost a year and a half for the average person to properly achieve that.

‘It seems that making renovations to a house has a big part to play in making it feel more like a home.’

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Painting each room was voted as the top way to spruce up your home, but it can become costly and time-consuming

1. Making it warm and snug

2. Enjoying a first Christmas

3. Filling all rooms with furniture

4. A top to bottom clean of the whole place

5. Experiencing all four seasons in the house

6.  Planting your own things in the garden

7. Fitting your own toilet seat

8. Stripping the walls

9. Having a birthday

10. Be first name terms with neighbours

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1. Paint each room

2. Lay new carpets in each room

3. Do up the bathroom

4. Rip out the kitchen

5. Fit new double glazing

6. Add new front door (or paint existing one)

7. Re-landscape the garden

8. Lay a new driveway

9. Add a conservatory

10. Extend/add another room

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