One in three (35%) British homeowners have become more confident at DIY and home improvement projects as a result of the time spent in lockdown, according to a new survey by leading bespoke plastic sheeting specialists, Plastic Sheets Shop.
This coincides with two in five (40%) homeowners saying they had attempted more DIY during lockdown. A similar number (38%) said they’d “always give something a go” while one in ten (13%) class DIY as a “new hobby”.
What’s causing this surge in confidence?
One reason for this upsurge in confidence could be the way today’s DIY-ers are acquiring that all-important know-how. It would appear that more and more people are seeking DIY help and advice online, with almost a third (30%) turning to social media, such as YouTube, Facebook and TikTok, and a similar number (28%) using forums and articles on Google – totalling 58% of all respondents.
In comparison, only 24% are seeking the advice of friends and family, suggesting that the traditional passing on of skills from parent to child, for example – made considerably more difficult by the lockdown restrictions – is no longer the primary source of DIY tuition.
“It’s exciting to see that British homeowners are taking more DIY tasks into their own hands and have used lockdown to head online and acquire some of the skills that would usually be passed down first-hand from generation to generation,” said Jonathan Opdam, Managing Director of Plastic Sheets Shop.
What DIY tasks are British homeowners most confident doing?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the tasks that British homeowners said they are either ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ doing are ‘bleeding a radiator’ (54%), ‘painting or wallpapering a room’ (52%), ‘putting up items like shelves and curtain poles’ (46%), and ‘carrying out exterior work such as gutter cleaning and maintenance’ (45%).
Even though DIY confidence is on the up amongst the country’s homeowners, there are certain jobs they would always leave to a professional tradesperson. Top of the list was more complex plumbing tasks (such as installing new plumbing fixtures, e.g. sinks), with over two-thirds (69%) identifying this as something they’d seek help with.
Does a generational gap still exist?
When looking at the data as a whole, it’s also clear to see that a generational gap (i.e. the older generation being more DIY savvy than the younger generation) still exists. However, interestingly, the younger adults seemed more clued up around regulations: 40% of 25 to 44-year-olds were aware of the home improvements they must report to the correct authority in order to ensure they meet safety requirements (e.g., installing a bath that holds more than 230 litres of water) compared to 18% of those aged 55 and over.
Good news for first-time buyers…
If you’re looking to buy your first home or perhaps have a friend, child or sibling that is, this research bodes well for them, too.
One in two (51%) British adults considered to be within the first-time buyer age range (25 to 44-year-olds) have attempted more DIY and home improvement tasks during lockdown, while almost as many (45%) said that they had become more DIY confident.
“With the average age of a first-time buyer being 34 and a rising number of them buying fixer-uppers because of the increasingly expensive housing market, we were keen to find out whether they had the confidence and skills to fix them up,” added Opdam.
“Although house prices are heading upwards, so too are the DIY confidence and skills of young adults, and from that perspective, the future looks bright.”
Altogether, the combination of a can-do attitude and the willingness to learn new DIY skills independently through online channels – adding to any in-person lessons they’re given – means today’s homeowners, younger and older, have everything in their toolkits to take on and master their own DIY projects. A positive of the pandemic!
To view the full survey results, visit: www.plasticsheetsshop.co.uk/diy-survey/