Tricks of the trade

Four in 10 British men would rather employ a tradesman than attempt basic DIY tasks themselves, it was revealed yesterday.

The findings emerged in a study of 2,000 men, and shows most lack the ability to carry out straightforward jobs such as tiling a wall, fitting a carpet or changing taps.

Incredibly, 47 per cent of men couldn't even work out how to fit a curtain rail and 39 per cent claim they wouldn't even know how to strip a piece of wallpaper.

In fact, a fifth of blokes admit that when they HAVE attempted a bit of DIY around the home, it has ended in complete disaster.

Chris Burke, the Director of Research at, the UK's leading tradesmen recommendation service, who commissioned the research said "These findings are surprising because we all assume that most men could turn their hand to some of the more basic tasks, such as drilling a few holes to fit a curtain rail".

"But if you have never been shown how to do these kinds of jobs around the house, it's all down to guess work and common sense.

"On bigger tasks - such as doing the plumbing in bathroom suites or fitting kitchens - sometimes it's just better to source outside help rather than risk things going wrong. It turns out I know this from my own personal experience."

The survey shows 30 per cent of Brits don't even know how to change a fuse, while 73 per cent would be flummoxed if they had to change bath or sink taps.

Unblocking a sink or toilet leaves 49 per cent of people stumped, and 76 per cent wouldn't even consider trying to remove a radiator to decorate.

Seven in 10 blokes faced with the prospect of fitting fences or gates in the garden are likely to opt out, and 72 per cent wouldn't even turn their hand to replacing a few broken tiles.

Jobs such as fitting doors, laying decking and fixing leaks also leave men feeling confused.

Even painting the house proves too much for 4 in 10 blokes.'s CMO, Tariq Dag Khan, continues: "There's really no shame in asking for help. The quality tradesmen even offer tips along the way. The hard part, until now, has been finding them."

Nearly half of British men claim to be so bad at DIY because no one has ever shown them how to do it, and a third can't be bothered to teach themselves.

A fifth of men say they might do more DIY if they didn't work such long hours, and one in 10 say they don't get the chance to do anything because their partner automatically books a tradesman when anything needs doing.

The results show 18 per cent of men have had to call in a tradesman after they had botched a DIY job.

Most commonly botched jobs include plumbing in sinks and toilets, putting up shelves and fixing leaks.

And in each case, the average bloke spent an extra £200 trying to repair the damage they had caused to the house.

But 14 per cent are too proud to call in a tradesman, and 27 per cent are embarrassed that they're not a bit more hands on with jobs around the house.


1. Plumb in a sink 76 per cent
2. Fit a new kitchen 86 per cent
3. Change a fuse 30 per cent
4. Seal a bath or sink 56 per cent
5. Hang wallpaper 59 per cent
6. Tile a wall
68 per cent
7. Remove a radiator 76 per cent
8. Replace broken tiles   
72 per cent
9. Fit a curtain rail
47 per cent
10. Fit a carpet
78 per cent
11. Fit gates or fences
71 per cent
12. Unblock a sink or toilet
49 per cent
13 Change a tap
73 per cent
14. Lay a vinyl floor
76 per cent
15. Lay decking
78 per cent
16. Turf the garden
61 per cent
17. Paint the house
39 per cent
18. Strip wallpaper
39 per cent
19. Fit a door
61 per cent
20. Fix a leak
73 per cent


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