Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Draper Tools reveals Britain’s most feared DIY jobs

Published: 5 October 2020 - Neil Mead

Two thirds of adults have a DIY job they're too scared to do - with wall-mounting a TV, putting up a shelf and replacing a tap among the most fear inducing tasks. Researchers who polled 2,000 UK consumers found the average person has four DIY jobs they're actively putting off.


Having not done the task before is the most common reason for the apprehension - followed by concerns they’ll make the problem worse and not having the right tools. Commissioned by Draper Tools, the research also found the mere thought of doing DIY would cause 71 per cent of adults to break out in a sweat.

Kev Smith, Head of Marketing at Draper Tools said: “As the research shows, not having done something before is the biggest reason for feeling a little nervy about doing particular DIY tasks. Of course if you’re not too sure what you’re doing then it’s best to do a bit of research first or turn to an expert. But there are lots of tasks which are easily done at home if you have the right equipment to hand.”

The study found those polled would also rather avoid tiling a kitchen or bathroom, plastering a wall, and laying decking. Changing a radiator, cleaning the gutter and fixing a leaky loo also give them the shivers – and the same goes for fitting a carpet and laying a patio. And perhaps the concerns are valid - when things go wrong they can be costly - with mishaps costing £130 to correct on average.

A quarter even admitted they have injured themselves doing DIY because they weren't skilled or equipped enough to do it. This and doing more DIY during lockdown explains why 53 per cent have developed a bigger appreciation for the skills talented tradespeople have. As a result, almost half are considering calling in a tradesperson before Christmas in order to tackle a job – of which the typical adult currently has three DIY tasks which need doing.


In fact, half have noticed work which needs doing around the home because they are spending more time there. The kitchen is where the work is most likely needed, followed by the bathroom, bedroom, living room and garden. But typically those polled will ignore a job for more than eight weeks before finally doing something about it.

It also emerged that if they do give home improvement a try themselves, assembling furniture is the task they have the biggest tendency to botch, followed by wallpapering, painting a wall and putting up a shelf. And upon finishing the job at hand, 13 per cent admitted they'd leave it if it wasn't quite perfect.

However, 35 per cent wouldn’t give up - they'd try and improve it, while 22 per cent would ask for some help and 10 per cent would start all over again. But one in 10 would turn to a professional fix their mistakes. Despite this, two thirds admitted that successfully completing a DIY job they weren't sure they could manage is one of the most satisfying things in life.

Kev Smith, Head of Marketing at Draper Tools said: “DIY can understandably be a daunting prospect at times. However, with the right tools and a little research, you can very often surprise yourself and do a great job, which can be very rewarding. Homeowners will no doubt spend hours admiring their successful handy work – and rightfully so.

“Of course, if you’re not entirely happy with it, the chances are it will bug you until it’s just as you want it to be.”


  1. Changing a radiator
  2. Plastering a wall
  3. Fixing a leaky toilet
  4. Tiling a bathroom
  5. Fitting a carpet
  6. Laying a patio
  7. Tiling a kitchen
  8. Replacing a tap
  9. Laying decking
  10. Fixing a leaking tap
  11. Wall-mounting a TV
  12. Putting up a light fitting
  13. Fitting a lock
  14. Putting up wallpaper
  15. Sealing a window or door
  16. Cleaning the gutter
  17. Putting up a shelf
  18. Putting up a curtain rail
  19. Changing a plug
  20. Bleeding radiators
  21. Painting a ceiling
  22. Filling in cracks in a wall
  23. Replacing a doorknob
  24. Putting up a mirror
  25. Upcycling some furniture
  26. Assembling furniture
  27. Hanging up a frame
  28. Painting a front door
  29. Painting a wall
  30. Painting decking

*source Draper Tools survey, conducted by OnePoll August 2020, sample size: 2,000 UK adults.


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