Image of 34 billion being painted

Risking DIY – A false economy?

Posted on 30/11/2017

Hanging a picture, building a wardrobe, unblocking a drain, painting a wall or tiling a bathroom – knowing what to tackle yourself and what to rely on a professional for is not always as easy to judge than you might think.

Almost 40% of people feel they “should” be able to undertake basic home maintenance tasks

A nationwide study conducted in October 2017 by Local Heroes shows that the average adult in the UK has paid £650 to have a professional rectify DIY mishaps, which amounts to £34 billion a year1. The research shows that the average adult has messed up nine jobs around their home with the most common mishaps happening when hanging wallpaper, putting up shelves and painting walls.

£34 billion is spent each year on correcting DIY mistakes

The most common DIY jobs which go wrong and require a professional fix are:

  1. Hanging wallpaper - 33%
  2. Putting up shelves - 30%
  3. Painting a room - 29%
  4. Fixing a toilet flush - 25%
  5. Unblocking a drain - 24%
  6. Bleeding a radiator - 21%
  7. Laying a carpet - 19%
  8. Fixing a leaking tap - 18%
  9. Plastering a wall - 17%
  10. Grouting - 16%
  11. Wiring a light fitting - 14%
  12. Tiling a wall - 13%
  13. Making a flower bed - 12%
  14. Fixing a leaking pipe - 11%
  15. Fixing a leaking radiator - 11%
  16. Tiling a floor - 10%
  17. Fixing a boiler - 8%
  18. Fitting a bathroom – 6.8%
  19. Fitting a kitchen - 6.5%
  20. Fixing a fuse box - 5%
  21. Making decking in the garden - 5%
  22. Sanding wooden floors - 5%
  23. Building a tree house - 3%

Why do people DIY?

While the potential cost savings of completing tasks yourself is an obvious motivating factor –the survey confirmed that seven in 10 people report they are motived to tackle jobs themselves in order to save costs – that’s not the whole story. There is also an element of pride, with almost 40% of respondents claiming that they “should” be able to undertake basic home maintenance tasks.

“Calling on a fully qualified and insured tradesperson can save you not just time and hassle but money too.”

Mat Moakes, head of Local Heroes

Furthermore, it’s not just an attempt to save money or live up to some level of expectations which spurs people into attempting, what can be potentially dangerous, jobs in and around the home . The survey also showed that 41% of people do not know where to find a reliable tradesperson and a further one in 10 people have issues with trusting a tradesperson.

Worries

Local Heroes only works with tradespeople with qualifications we have verified, but the survey revealed a concerning statistic that almost half of people “never check” if a tradesperson has the proper qualifications for the job.

Almost half of people never check if a tradesperson has the proper qualifications for the job

Even more concerning, people are not just risking ruining a wallpaper job that by completing DIY themselves but their own safety, with the research showing that more than one in five people have injured themselves during DIY. The most common incidents are cuts from sharp objects, falls from ladders and splinters.

Mat Moakes, head of Local Heroes, says the survey confirms that investing in a professional job up front is the safest strategy.

“You can get a great sense of achievement from completing your own DIY job but, as the survey shows, some jobs are best left to professionals. We have over 6,000 independent tradespeople in our network that are ready to correct any botched jobs – or even better – help prevent DIY mishaps,” said Mat Moakes, head of Local Heroes.

“We have over 6,000 independent tradespeople in our network that are ready to correct any botched jobs – or even better – help prevent DIY mishaps.”

Mat Moakes, head of Local Heroes

“Calling on a fully qualified and insured tradesperson can save you not just time and hassle but money too.”

Footnotes

1 £650 a year x UK adult population of 52 million

Research conducted by Ginger Research with 2,650 adults across the UK in October 2017