Research has found that the average homeowner in Britain has blown nearly £300 in the last year hiring a tradesman to carry out minor repairs in their properties that many could have done themselves.
A survey of 2,000 people carried out by Swinton Insurance discovered a growing trend of people stepping away from the toolbox, with just 48% of homeowners feeling confident enough to do some DIY in their property.
Of those surveyed, 25% said they were not brave enough to carry out any DIY tasks, even the simple ones, and home maintenance and repair skills appear to be rapidly disappearing across the country.
Swinton Insurance asked people what jobs they would feel comfortable doing, and just 49% said putting up a shelf, 35% said they would fix a leaky tap, and 60% said they could unblock a drain.
Taking charge of your own DIY is not always the cheapest option though, as a bodged job can actually end up costing more in the long run and will most likely result in a tradesman being called out to fix the job anyway.
Mark Hallam, head of products at Swinton Insurance, said:
“The findings make it clear that much more needs to be done to educate Britons on basic DIY. It's absurd that we spend hundreds of pounds on odd jobs we could do ourselves, particularly when family budgets continue to be stretched.”
Tradesmen say they spend on average 2 hours 21 minutes a day fixing the damage caused during DIY repairs that have gone wrong. In particular, Brits seem to get their wires crossed when attempting small electrical jobs. The top botched job, according to tradesmen, is the simple task of changing a fuse, followed by wiring and new plugs.
The research found that 4 in 10 odd jobs can become a bigger problem if left, and many Brits admit to leaving smaller problems such as squeaky floorboards and leaky taps until they really become an issue.
Fixing a leaky tap is the easiest DIY job to try yourself, and painting a wall, although time consuming, is fairly straightforward if you want to have a go at a bit of household maintenance.
Squeaky floorboards can usually be fixed with a sprinkling of talcum powder or the tightening of a loose screw, and baths are easy to reseal once you have the equipment you need. A new seal will not only make your bathroom look nicer, but will also prevent damaging leaks.
If you want to get a bit more hands-on, then why not build your own shed? Flat pack sheds come with a list of simple instructions and all the fixtures and fittings provided – all you need is a hammer, screwdriver and electric drill.
There is no reason to shy away from easy DIY jobs around the house, but anything electrical is usually better dealt with by a professional. If you feel unsure about what you are doing at any point while carrying out some DIY, don’t be afraid of asking for some advice from a tradesmen and getting a second opinion.