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Do young people really lack basic DIY skills?

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22/08/2017
Do young people really lack basic DIY skills?

Many young people say they would struggle to change a lightbulb, alter the time on a clock and tune the TV, according to Nationwide, so more complex DIY projects could prove a challenge.

In the youngest age range, 18-24, only two thirds (63%) say they are capable of changing a light bulb, less than half (45%) can change the time on household clocks, while only a third can change a fuse or bleed a radiator.

In addition, a mere 17% can locate and turn off a stop cock and only 15 per cent can rewire a plug. Even with the jobs they might be thought to favour, only half (49%) can tune a TV and less than one in five (19%) say they can install home entertainment equipment.
 
This compares with an older generation apparently much more used to doing it themselves, with the over 55s saying nine in ten (89%) were ready to change a lightbulb, four in five able to change the clocks (77%) and change a fuse (81%), and more than two thirds ready to bleed radiators (71%), find and turn off a stop cock (74%) and rewire a plug (69%).

Nearly four in five (77%) will tune a television and a third (30%) can install a home entertainment system.

DIY disasters

When asked what was their biggest DIY disaster, one in five (22%) young people said spilling paint on the carpet or furniture. This was just ahead of spending far more money on the project than had been planned (21%), with drilling through a water pipe and causing a flood an issue for one in seven (15%) in third place.
 
Guy Simmonds, Nationwide’s head of current account customer management, said: “With the Bank Holiday approaching, this is a peak time of the year for people to spend money on their homes. This could be either tackling an ambitious, large-scale project to add value to their homes, or small cosmetic changes, maintenance jobs and updating.
 
“Our data suggests that people aspire to make improvements but may not have all the skills they need to make a positive difference and, in fact, botching the job or making mistakes that may lead to much higher extra costs and extra spending later to put it right.

“It’s significant that many would-be DIY enthusiasts end up regretting both the amount of money spent and the accidents that can prove costly along the way. However, people also feel it is important to regularly refresh the appearance of their homes or tackle larger jobs to reflect their changing needs.”

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