Ireland’s over 45s are bigger DIY-ers than their younger peers

Survey reveals Ireland’s over 45s are bigger DIY-ers than their younger peers

4 in 10 people refuse to “flat pack”

New research sheds light on gender-based DIY tasks as experts caution to check home insurance cover

Four in ten (39%) Irish people would rather pay a professional to put flat pack furniture together than to do the job themselves, with a similar number prepared to hire a window cleaner rather than to roll up their sleeves and clean the windows themselves. However, almost seven in ten will unblock their toilet and paint the interior of their home, while just over six in ten will power wash their driveway.

This is according to the findings of a new survey by Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC (Aviva) on the DIY tasks Irish people are prepared to tackle around the home – as well as the precautions they do or do not take when doing so.

The research found the DIY job which most Irish will leave completely in the hands of the professionals is the replacement of a faulty water pipe, with almost nine in ten (86%) prepared to pay someone to complete this task. Other big DIY no-no’s are building small walls, with 82% claiming they would rather pay someone to do this job, tiling (79%) and rewiring plugs (67%).

The survey of 1,000 adults nationwide also revealed varying levels of preparation and caution taken by homeowners when undertaking these tasks, with seven in ten homeowners saying they exercise caution when using ladders.  However, 8% of those surveyed admitted to not taking any safety precautions when undertaking DIY tasks in their homes.

Top 10 DIY jobs

The survey found that the Top 10 DIY tasks people are likely to try their hand at before hiring a professional are:

  • Unblock toilet (67%)
  • Paint interior of home (65%)
  • Power wash driveway (63%)
  • Clean all exterior windows (62%)
  • Build flat pack furniture (61%)
  • Bleed radiators (60%)
  • Put up a shelf (58%)
  • Mend a fence (44%)
  • Paint the exterior of home (41%)
  • Cut down trees in garden (38%)

Commenting on the survey findings, Alan Behan, Personal Lines Product Manager, Aviva said:

Every homeowner will know that the list of “jobs” to be done around a home is endless and while some people might enjoy getting stuck in, others will absolutely steer clear of anything that could be termed a DIY task. Our study shows just what people will try their hand at, and what they deem to be beyond their paygrade! And of course, one person’s chore can be another person’s hobby.

There was a definite trend evident from the research findings that the older you are, the more DIY savvy you appear to be, with those under 35 much less willing to tackle these tasks. Those over aged 35 appear to step into the live-in handyman/woman role and once people reach the age of 45 this number increases significantly. As more people are buying homes later in life, it could simply be the case that these DIY skills will be acquired in time – rather than lost altogether

DIY – The Gender Divide

The research findings debunk any myths around men being more inclined than women to tackle DIY jobs. 

  • Women are more likely to take on the stomach-turning job of unblocking toilets (68% of women versus 66% of men)
  • Women are much more up for trying their hand at assembling flat pack furniture (66% of women versus 55% of men), painting the interior of a home (71% versus 59%), bleeding radiators and putting up shelves. 
Certain DIY jobs do appear from the survey results to be the preserve of men.
  • More than four in ten (43%) men said they’d rewire a plug before paying someone to do it, but just three in ten (31%) women said they’d do the same. 
  • More than four in ten (42%) male respondents said they’d fix a socket, just 25% of women said they would do so. 
  • Significantly more men than women would cut down trees, mend a fence or build a small wall.

DIY inept Generation Z[1]?

The willingness to tackle DIY tasks appears to increase with age.

  • Less than half (45%) of 18–24-year-olds said they’d be willing to unblock a toilet compared to eight in ten (79%) 45–54-year-olds.
  • Only one in four (26%) 18–24-year-olds know how to bleed a radiator but three in four (72%) of the over 55s could do the same.
  • More than half of the older generation could rewire a plug but just one in four (24%) 25–34-year-olds could tackle that job and significantly less (13%) of those under 25.

Our research would suggest that unless there’s a marked improvement in the DIY skills of Generation Z[2], some DIY skills could be a thing of the past. It is important that basic DIY skills are not lost as they enable people to become more self-reliant and to save money on the cost of hiring professionals.

Being “handy” around the home can save a lot of money, but it can also cost a lot of money (not to mention time) and possibly your health if the job isn’t done right. Recent European research has found that about 45% of injuries treated in Accident & Emergency departments are related to accidents in the home[3].

Not only can people end up injuring themselves and damaging their property when a DIY job goes wrong, but they could well find themselves uninsured. Accidental damage cover is what is needed in these events, but this is often an insurance add-on in a home insurance policy and so many households simply won’t be covered – and they may not realise this until after the fact.

Alan Behan added.

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