A survey into the do-it-yourself (DIY) skills of the UK population has found that most people do not feel confident in tackling relatively simple tasks such as changing a plug, fixing a leaking tap or hanging wallpaper.
The survey of 1,483 adults, commissioned by home fuel supplier Emo Oil, revealed that 77% of adults do not feel confident when tackling DIY tasks, and 52% seek professional help before attempting them.
This is true despite the existence of large numbers of instructional videos on the internet that walk the viewer through most home maintenance procedures in in a step-by-step fashion. On the other hand, anybody who has tried to find PTFE plumbing tape in the average DIY superstore knows that there are some things that videos cannot teach.
There are also some people who either can’t, or can’t be bothered, to tackle any DIY task at all: 13% said painting a wall presented insuperable obstacles. As a result, some 36% have a local handyman on speed dial.
Other jobs, such as hanging wallpaper, do not present many theoretical difficulties, but require a reasonable degree of manual skill and experience to do well.
While the lack of practical skills in the population may be worrying, calling in the handyman may be the right thing to do. Previous surveys of the UK’s DIY skillset in have found that tackling DIY tasks without sufficient experience costs households a combined £3bn a year.
Suzanne Waddell, marketing manager at Emo Oil, commented: "There are some DIY jobs that are best left to the professionals, but there are other simple tasks that individuals could save money on by doing these themselves. Once they have the know-how, they realise how much easier it makes life and they can get to work on the task at hand, rather than waiting for a professional to step in."
The 9 most difficult DIY jobs, according to respondents, were as follows:
- Fixing a leaking tap – 67%
- Changing a plug – 59%
- Hanging wallpaper – 47%
- Sealing doors and windows – 44%
- Unblocking a sink – 38%
- Changing a bulb – 27%
- Hanging pictures and mirrors – 21%
- Assembling flat pack furniture – 16%
- Painting walls and furniture – 13%
Image: Help! (Sunshine Coast Plumbers)