Britain is famously a nation of DIY lovers, with many of us enjoying nothing more than spending spare weekends doing decorating and repair jobs around the home.
Sadly our enthusiasm does not appear to be matched by our aptitude. That’s the conclusion of recent research carried out by Wilko’s, revealing Britain as a nation of deluded DIY-ers who frequently botch home improvement jobs.
The study showed that whilst the British are confident about their DIY abilities – six out of 10 claim to be good or very good at home maintenance, and only seven per cent judge their skills as very bad – such confidence appears unfounded.
That’s because almost a quarter of Brits admit to having suffered a DIY disaster – from minor accidents like spilling paint, to major calamities such as drilling through a neighbour’s water pipe and falling through a ceiling.
Such DIY blunders are not merely inconvenient but also very expensive, with the average cost of mishaps amounting to £138.70 every year – a whopping £3.05 billion across the UK annually.
Why are Brits so overconfident – and what can they do to avoid expensive DIY disasters?
DIY isn’t as simple as it appears on TV
Mike Edwards from leading home improvement website DIY Doctor says that many blunders are caused by people wrongly believing do it yourself jobs are simple.
“At DIY Doctor we have received thousands of emails from people who think DIY is simple but have ended up ruining part of their house. Celebrities and TV shows make DIY out to be simple when, to a large degree, it is not.
“Wallpapering for example may appear simple – but doing it properly is not easy at all. Different wallpapers need different treatments, and papering round windows, doors and arches requires considerable skill. Putting up ‘simple’ shelves without checking for water pipes and cables in the wall leads to very dangerous and expensive disasters indeed.”
Research and practice is the key to avoiding costly DIY disasters around the home, says Mike: “Before doing any DIY job it’s essential to visit dedicated sites and forums, such as DIY Doctor, and find out what the pitfalls are. Once you have done the research, practice in an area where making a mistake won’t matter.
“Our demonstrations at home building shows all over the UK prove that once people have practiced for a couple of hours, and understand why jobs are approached the way they are, accidents and disasters can be reduced by 85%.”
Women leading the way in DIY
Wilko’s study suggests women are banishing sexist stereotypes and leading the way when it comes to successful DIY. More than half of women (53 per cent) claim to enjoy DIY, and more than a third (38 per cent) insist that they are as good as, or better than, their partners at it.
Mike Edwards confirms that women are very involved in the traditionally male world of DIY: “We have a huge number of women communicating with us at DIY Doctor. They like the anonymity of the site and often seem happier than men to ask for help.”
As research is crucial before attempting any DIY job, it is unsurprising that those who first seek expert advice about home improvement projects are more likely to be successful at accomplishing them.
So, the next time you try to carry out a supposedly simple DIY job, make sure disaster is avoided by fully researching the subject and practising as much as you can before picking up the paintbrush and toolbox!
Want to know more? Visit DIY Doctor for expert advice on all aspects of DIY.