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Brits spend £34 billion a year fixing DIY bodge jobs

2-minute read

Anna Delves

13 March 2018

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It won’t come as a surprise to any tradesman who’s been in the business for longer than five minutes that DIY bodge jobs are at epidemic levels in the UK.

In fact, new research from Local Heroes, a platform created by British Gas to put customers in touch with nearby tradespeople, has found that the Great British public pay £34 billion each year to fix their DIY mistakes.

  • Tradespeople share pictures of the worst bodge jobs they've seen
  • [10 things every tradesman can relate to](/knowledge/articles/2019/06/10-things-every-tradesperson-can-relate-to/

Average untrained adult messes up nine DIY jobs

Across their lifetimes, the average UK adult will mess up nine DIY jobs so spectacularly that they need to call in professional help.

Over the past year, the average cost per person for DIY fixes was £650 - which just goes to show quite how many people make a dog’s dinner of things when they try to do it themselves.

Painters and decorators make the most from fixing DIY

The data shows that painters and decorators stand to make the most from stepping in when other people make mistakes. More than a third of people surveyed said that wallpaper was their downfall, and 29 per cent had difficulty painting walls.

Plumbers are also in luck - the research found that that nearly one in five have failed when trying to fix a dripping tap, almost a quarter struggled to unblock a drain, and more than a fifth were stumped by radiator bleeding

Most common jobs Brits have messed up

DIY taskPercentage of mishaps
Hanging wallpaper34
Putting up shelves30
Painting a room29
Fixing a toilet flush25
Unblocking a drain24
Bleeding a radiator21
Laying a carpet10
Fixing a leaking tap18
Plastering a wall17
Grouting16
Wiring a light fitting14
Tiling a wall13
Making a flower bed12
Fixing a leaking pipe11
Fixing a leaking radiator11
Tiling a floor10
Fixing a boiler8
Fitting a bathroom6.8
Fitting a kitchen6.5
Fixing a fuse box5
Laying decking5
Sanding wooden floors5
Building a treehouse3

Great british public clueless on how to hire tradesmen

Amusingly, the majority of respondents who said they currently had a job that needed doing in their house said they were reluctant to call out a tradesperson because they were confident they could complete the task themselves.

On top of that, seven out of ten didn’t want to use a professional because they thought it would save them money.

However, of those who would use a tradesperson, 41 per cent said they wouldn’t know where to go to look for a reliable, qualified professional.

Mat Moakes, Director of Local Heroes, commented: “You can get a great sense of achievement from completing your own DIY job but, as the survey shows, you have to be realistic about your capability. Calling on a fully qualified and insured tradesperson can save you time, hassle, and money in the long run.”

And it seems the NHS are being kept in work too - 22 per cent of brits have injured themselves while attempting DIY.

What’s the worst bodge job you’ve had to fix? Let us know in the comments.

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