Monday, 18 September 2017

All the gear and no idea

There’s lots of advice about DIY home makeovers right now. Most of us are ready and willing to give our homes a makeover. But sometimes the ability to complete the job doesn’t match our enthusiasm, especially among younger DIYers.

According to research from Nationwide Building Society, more than two thirds of us are happy to take on non-building DIY jobs like painting and decorating. And it also seems that many of us are kitted out with plenty of gear, including drills, hammers and ladders, to take on most DIY scenarios.

We don’t always know how to use our tools though. DIYers can be prone to the occasional DIY disaster. Most of us have spilled paint on the floor or overspent on a project. One in seven us of has even drilled through a water pipe causing a flood.

There is a bit of a generation gap when it comes to our confidence in our own DIY skills. According to Nationwide’s research, it’s the younger generation who are apparently most confident that they can take on all manner of DIY jobs. One in five 18 to 24-year olds say that they are fully proficient in DIY. They believe that they can tackle any job, no matter how large or complex. The older and wiser among us are more pragmatic about our skills. Fewer than one in ten of those aged 55 or older say they are happy to tackle the more difficult DIY jobs.

When it comes to the actual DIY abilities of the younger generation the tables are turned. In the youngest age range, 18-24, only two thirds (63 per cent) say they can change a light bulb, under half (45 per cent) can change the time on household clocks, while only a third can change a fuse or bleed a radiator. In addition, a mere 17 per cent can locate and turn off a stop cock and only 15 per cent can rewire a plug. Even with the jobs they might be thought to favour, only half (49 per cent) can tune a TV and less than one in five (19 per cent) say they can install home entertainment equipment.

This compares with an older generation apparently much more used to doing it themselves, with the over 55s saying nine in ten (89 per cent) were ready to change a lightbulb, four in five able to change the clocks (77 per cent) and change a fuse (81 per cent), and more than two thirds ready to bleed radiators (71 per cent), find and turn off a stop cock (74 per cent) and rewire a plug (69 per cent). Nearly four in five (77 per cent) will tune a television and a third (30 per cent) can install a home entertainment system.

Many people aspire to make improvements but may not have all the skills they need to make a positive difference. In fact, they are more likely to end up botching the job or making mistakes that may lead to much higher extra costs and extra spending later to put it right. It’s significant that many would-be DIY enthusiasts end up regretting both the amount of money spent and the accidents that can prove costly along the way. However, people also feel it is important to regularly refresh the appearance of their homes or tackle larger jobs to reflect their changing needs.

Sometimes, moving to a new home that includes the features that homeowners to aspire to, such as a large open plan kitchen/diner, conservatory or en-suite bathroom will remove risk of disasters. Buying a new home from Larkfleet Homes gives buyers the opportunity to move into their dream home without the need to do anything to it. It’s still a good idea to brush up on those basic DIY skills though. You never know when you’ll need to change a light bulb or a fuse or re-tune the telly.

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