Do it yourself?

Nearly half the UK has had a DIY disaster - have we lost our skills?

As many of us dust off the overalls and hunt out our tools for a weekend of DIY ‘fun’ this Bank Holiday, our research shows that it’s quite likely we’ll get something wrong and 1 in 4 of our DIY disasters ends up in personal injury.

To mark the launch of First Utility Home Services, we wanted to get a feel for the state of the nation when it comes to DIY. And it paints a pretty bleak picture compared to previous generations. To help, we’ve compiled some top tips below.

Research shows that our DIY skills have declined in comparison to our grandparents, we’re prone to DIY disasters, and the jobs are piling up. Check out the main findings in our infographic below:

Nearly half the UK has had a DIY disaster - have we lost our skills?

One of the interesting findings here is that we’re not as capable as previous generations. The research sheds some light on this suggesting that it can be in part explained by our parents not passing down the know-how. A perceived lack of skills is the number one reason for people rating themselves bad at DIY and 41% of all our respondents said that their parents didn’t pass down their DIY expertise to them.

For those who do know the basics - 45% say that they just don’t have the confidence to tackle DIY tasks and 41% say that they don’t have the patience. This is perhaps understandable. Our busy lives don’t lend themselves to having hours of free time to spend doing all those jobs we need to tackle. And it’s no surprise, to us at least, that painting walls is the number one job to be put off. If watching it dry is considered boring, then putting the paint on is just as tedious and time consuming.

For those of you planning some DIY this weekend, check out our top tips:

Leave enough time for the job

A common mistake is to underestimate how long a job will take, meaning you run out of time and the half-finished job stays like that until the next bank holiday. The best advice is to start early.

Think it through before you start

Rushing in is a sure fire way to come unstuck later on. Think through what's required, sketch a drawing first if necessary and then you'll know what tools and materials you need. Speaking of which.

Measure twice, cut once

It’s an old adage but couldn't be more true. It is the most common reason for DIY jobs ending in disaster so get your measurements right. Also, if you are confident in your measurements you can buy the right size of materials for the job and avoid overspending with loads of off-cuts left over.

Check for hidden dangers

Water leaks are a common DIY mishap but drilling through a live electrical cable can land you in A&E. So make sure you know what's behind the walls. Electricity cables usually run vertically from a plug socket so avoid drilling there. You can tap on a wall to see if it is hollow or solid which will affect the sort of drill bit, or Rawlplug you'll need for fixing.

Or, if you have a long list of jobs this weekend but would rather spend it with your family doing something more fun instead then you could always get someone in.

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Avoiding DIY disasters

How to avoid DIY disasters

Quick and easy jobs to tackle over the bank holiday

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Your weekend DIY timetable

Your weekend DIY timetable

Quick and easy jobs to tackle over the bank holiday

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