top of page

Housing News

Study reveals the 15 DIY jobs Brits don’t dare attempt themselves – and the ones they frequently mess up

Although the pandemic boom of renovations and improvements has dipped due to the cost-of-living crisis putting a hold on unnecessary expenses, there is still the need for skilled professionals for a range of vital household tasks, such as repairs and installations.

DIY jobs.jpg

Shortages of skilled tradespeople in the UK are becoming more widespread – and a recent study of 1,092 UK homeowners by Markel Direct, the specialist insurer of tradespeople, has revealed the DIY jobs homeowners in the UK are happy to try their hand at, as well as the most common DIY disasters that resulted in having to call a professional to fix.

Roof repairs were named as the number one job homeowners do not feel comfortable tackling themselves, with almost a third (31.3%) of respondents highlighting it.

Next was asbestos removal, which 30.5% stated as a job they wouldn’t do – unsurprising, given the danger if handled incorrectly - and the third highest task UK homeowners wouldn’t attempt is boiler/gas maintenance and rewiring, which 30.4% selected.

Interestingly, painting and decorating features as the seventh highest-rated job homeowners wouldn’t attempt on their own, with 28.9% of people choosing this, despite being a DIY staple for many people.

The 15 DIY/repair jobs UK homeowners are not willing to tackle themselves
Top 15.png

Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) of homeowners said they don’t feel comfortable tackling any home improvements or repairs at all – with over 8 in 10 not willing to attempt some DIY jobs for fear of making the issue worse, and nearly 6 in 10 avoiding these tasks due to the fear of injuring themselves.

The study also explored homeowners’ experience of hiring a tradesperson. 46% of respondents had struggled to hire a tradesperson for their repair or renovation project, with the most cited reasons being lack of availability (46%) and shortage of trade in area (34%).

28% have tried and failed to do jobs, resulting in bringing in the professionals instead

The survey also revealed that over a quarter (28%) have started a job but needed to call in professional help to take over or rectify mistakes.  And the most popular one homeowners need assistance for is plumbing repairs and maintenance.

The 10 most common jobs tradespeople have had to take over from DIYers
10 common jobs.png

However, mistakes are not the top reason homeowners gave for wanting to hire a professional. The majority (86%) would choose to go for a professional due to the quality and guarantees they come with, lessening the risk of doing it themselves.


Rob Rees, Divisional Director at Markel Direct, commented: “Whilst it can be tempting to attempt repairs or DIY tasks yourself, the risk of getting something wrong could result in only more problems to fix. Hiring an accredited and insured tradesperson with years of experience will ensure the job is done to a high standard and, most importantly, safely.”


Top reasons people prefer hiring tradespeople

In a time when the cost-of-living crisis looms large, homeowners are faced with a challenging choice: balancing their budget or ensuring the job is done properly.

Surprisingly, 41% of respondents prioritise the expected quality of work when deciding to hire a tradesperson for a project, surpassing cost considerations by nearly 10%. This data reveals that people are willing to invest in skilled professionals who can be trusted to deliver seamless work.


While quality takes the lead, cost remains a significant factor, securing the second spot on the list with 32%. So, the data suggests that a balanced approach, where homeowners are willing to allocate a reasonable budget to secure professionals, can still deliver superior results.

A significant reason why people are opting to hire tradespeople is their lack of confidence in DIY capabilities. Many homeowners worry that attempting a job themselves may lead to worsened problems and eventually cost more than hiring a professional from the outset. In fact, more than a quarter (28%) have initiated a DIY project only to require professional assistance to rectify mistakes.

With plumbing repairs and maintenance, it becomes clear that the initial investment in a professional is often a wise choice. For example, replacing a toilet can cost an average of £400, but hiring a professional to do it ensures the job is done correctly, preventing recurring issues and potential water damage, which could ultimately result in higher expenses.

Similarly, opting for professional interior wall painting at an average of £250, guarantees a high-quality finish without the laborious effort of doing it yourself. Finally, the cost of removing a tree stump stands at an average of £200, while full tree removal requires an additional £50. Investing in a professional for these costly tasks not only provides peace of mind and quality, but it also safeguards against costlier repercussions in the long run.

©2024.English Living.All Rights Reserved.
bottom of page