Can you do it yourself?

Dad's skills are DIY-ing out among younger people

It's a widely held belief that younger people are less handy than their parents.

New research by AA Home Membership confirms the lack of 'DIY dad skills' among Generation Y.*

Among the languishing skills is the ability to change the fuse in a plug, perhaps the most basic of household repairs – three out of ten under 35s (31%) are unable to do it.

AA research highlights DIY incompetencies

Almost a third (32%) of under 35s don't know how to turn off their water supply, and three quarters (76%) are baffled by frozen pipes.

The research also suggests that it may not be just a lack of skill that puts younger people off household maintenance – it could just be that they're not that bothered. On average the under 35s would wait more than a week to fix a leaky roof, and three days to have a faulty boiler looked at.

The research shows that Wales is the handiest region, compared to London which is least practical.

Helen Brooker, head of AA Home Membership, says: "It's a common perception that younger people don't have the same DIY skills that their parents might have had.

"There's certainly no harm in learning how to carry out a few household tasks like bleeding radiators – no doubt they'll come in handy at some point.

"Our research shows that younger people tend to wait much longer than those who are a bit older to fix things that go wrong in their home. It might be because they're quite small issues. But things can get worse. A cracked window, for instance, could shatter or pose a security risk, so it's best to get any problems sorted out as soon as you're aware of them."

Get to grips with basic home maintenance with our how to videos


Which of the following tasks can you competently carry out?*

Skill

All those who can

Under 35s who can

Over 65s who can

Change a plug fuse

89%

69%

93%

Turn off water supply

87%

68%

91%

Bleed a radiator

84%

65%

89%

Turn your boiler off

82%

74%

87%

Put up a smoke alarm

77%

70%

82%

Put up a carbon monoxide alarm

72%

65%

75%

Turn off your gas supply

67%

39%

77%

Unblock a drain

65%

58%

69%

Defrost a frozen pipe

48%

24%

58%

Top up the pressure in your boiler

47%

41%

49%


* Research carried out on behalf of the AA by Populus among 1,849 UK adults aged 18+, 24–31 October 2014.

4 November 2014