Brits are spending a whopping £5.6 billion* each year calling in help to fix the simplest of DIY tasks according to a new report, which suggests that while most British households own a toolbox, the vast majority have absolutely no idea what to do with the contents.
The ‘Seize the DIY Report’ was commissioned by TV channel Home to help launch its ‘Seize the DIY’ campaign, which aims to encourage people across the UK not to be afraid of completing DIY tasks themselves. The survey quizzed 4,000 British householders about their home improvement habits. The results provide a compelling insight into the true cost of simple maintenance and provide a rundown of the nation’s dumbest DIY dilemmas.
The findings reveal that although the vast majority (80%) of households own a toolbox with contents worth an average of £340, tools are often left to gather dust while an expert is called in to complete the work. Indeed, a massive 70% of British homeowners now rely on a handyman to complete simple DIY tasks, such as putting up a shelf or fixing a leaking tap. A quarter of respondents (25%) admit in hindsight that they have shelled out for help on a simple DIY job that they could have completed themselves.
Part of the malaise can be attributed to the fact that almost a third of Britons (30%) admit that they find DIY shops intimidating, however the report also points to a clear knowledge gap when it comes to the uses for simple household tools. Worryingly, a mere third (33%) of respondents say that they are confident when it comes to using shop-bought tools. These findings are supported by the fact that 14% of homeowners believe that a spirit level is a device used for measuring alcohol. When asked what a monkey wrench would be used for, more than a fifth (22%) of people failed to hit the nail on the head, saying zookeepers use it during the primate-mating season. A further one in ten clueless men and women stated that a ‘spanner’ was a term used to describe someone of limited intelligence!
The report found that the average yearly household spend on fixing simple DIY tasks was £220 – which adds up to a massive national spend of £5.6 billion a year. The research also reveals the top 10 simple DIY tasks that we employ experts to remedy:
- Stopping a dripping tap (15%)
- Painting a room (13.2%)
- Sealing a bath, sink or basin (12.8%)
- Fitting a toilet roll or towel holder (11.3%)
- Unblocking a sink (9.8%)
- Fitting a TV Bracket (8.6%)
- Bleeding a radiator (7.5%)
- Putting up a shelf (7.3%)
- Assembling flat pack furniture (6.9%)
- Hanging a picture on a wall (5.2%)
This lack of DIY expertise goes someway to explaining why a massive 76% of British homes have one or more unfinished tasks, with 24% having four or more outstanding jobs. Of the 4,000 homeowners questioned, a quarter (25%) admitted that they had not attempted a single DIY task within the past 12 months.