DIY time - are you handy or disastrous?

Having a DIY disaster doesn't put us off

Brits are well-known for their love affair with DIY. In fact, many are so enamoured that even having a DIY disaster won't put them off.

Research conducted by AA Home Membership shows that despite three-quarters (74%) of have-a-go handymen and women saying they've had a DIY calamity, more than a third (37%) were still willing to attempt some do-it-yourself on the late summer holiday weekend.*

Men have more mishaps than women

The most common accident was hitting a thumb with a hammer, which four in ten (42%) people have done. Over a third (35%) have spilled paint on the floor, and three in ten (31%) drilled a hole in the wrong place. Other mishaps include an inability to put flat-pack furniture together (16%), blowing the electrics (16%), and damaging a piece of furniture (15%).

Men were more likely than women to have had a DIY disaster: 80% of them compared to 66% of women.

Helen Brooker, head of AA Home Membership, said: "Most people who've attempted some DIY have had something go wrong at one point or another.

"Sometimes people are more 'enthusiast' than 'expert', and that can be where things go awry.

"On public holidays people often take advantage of the extra day off work – and hopefully a bit of good weather – to do the little jobs they've been meaning to do. Rather than rush into it, take a bit of time to understand what you need to do.

"Thankfully, the effect of most people's dodgy DIY is relatively minor. But remember that some jobs – such as gas and electrical work – should only be carried out by a professional. Don't attempt any other work that might be dangerous – leave it to someone who knows what they're doing."

Pointing out that the biggest single cause for home insurance claims is accidental damage, Helen comments: "If you're planning a big DIY project you might want to check that your home insurance does has accidental damage cover included, which for many policies is an optional extra."

Londoners are most likely to have had a DIY mishap (83%), while those in the north-west were least likely (62%).

Which of the following DIY disasters have you had if, any?

Disaster

Percentage

Male %

Female %

Hit finger/thumb with a hammer

42

52

30

Spilled paint on the floor

35

36

33

Drilled a hole in the wrong place

31

40

20

Not been able to put flat pack furniture together

16

12

22

Blown the electrics

16

18

13

Damaged a piece of furniture

15

14

16

Hung up wallpaper wonky

13

12

13

Fallen off a ladder

11

14

6

Hammered/drilled through a pipe

10

15

5

Made fixtures or a piece of furniture which went wrong

5

6

4

Put a foot through the floor

5

7

4

Installed an appliance (eg a washing machine) incorrectly

2

2

2

Other

2

2

2

None of the above

26

20

34


* Research carried out by Populus among 1,320 adults, 6–16 June 2014.

21 August 2014