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Iceni Magazine | November 24, 2020

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Do it yourself? Probably not, as survey finds a third of adults stumped by simple DIY tasks


shoe-laceThe UK is facing a DIY crisis with over a third of adults admitting to not being able to carry out simple practical tasks like putting up shelves or rewiring a plug, according to a new survey of 2,000 UK adults by mouldable glue, Sugru

Wallpapering topped the chart for most troublesome task, with 38 per cent admitting they wouldn’t feel confident undertaking some home decorating. A third of Brits admitted they wouldn’t be able to put up shelves in new digs, with another third also saying they don’t know how to rewire a plug.

The intricacies of flat pack furniture also had over a fifth of Brits stumped, while a one in five also admitted something as simple as hanging a picture was beyond them.

Jane ni Dhulcahointigh, CEO and inventor of Sugru commented: “We seem to be facing a national crisis where people don’t realise their own potential to carry out simple DIY tasks. Many of us lack the confidence to even attempt certain practical tasks feeling that they are beyond their capabilities, which simply isn’t the case. In a society obsessed with technology, we must ensure we maintain and value practical life skills; otherwise we will be facing a DIY dilemma. ”   

The survey found we are a nation of procrastinators when it comes to DIY, with Brits admitting to taking an average of 19 days to start any practical jobs around the house or garden, and nearly half of all people surveyed saying they are simply too busy to attempt DIY.  

The results highlight that we are a nation losing our practical skills, with four in ten believing their generation to be less practical than their parents’ or grandparents, as a result almost half admit their parents were their go-to for DIY advice.


Google topped the chart as fountain of DIY knowledge, with 63 per cent saying it would be their first port of call when needing additional information, although 70 per cent agreed that it was important to teach the younger generation not to be overly reliant on technology and hone their skills.

Despite many of us facing a lack of confidence and a penchant for procrastination, it’s a relief to know that two-thirds of adults agreed that they would love to learn more about DIY and crafting.

To encourage this thirst for learning and to encourage Brits to discover their inner handyman, Sugru has launched a new campaign to help the UK realise its practical potential. With the launch of its Hands On campaign, Sugru is on a mission to help Brits to unleash the huge potential at their fingertips, by highlighting the complex movements we all do with our hands on a daily basis and how those same movements can be used for practical skills we currently believe are beyond us.

Not only will they highlight the actual capabilities at the fingertips of the nation, Sugru also hopes to awaken the country’s curiosity when it comes to understanding the potential to fix, improve or personalize everyday objects.


Jane continued: “By highlighting the everyday things we do with our hands that we perceive as simple, we can encourage people to use those same movements and skills to tackle hands-on home improvement projects. The benefits of being more ‘handy’ are endless – from combatting our throwaway culture by fixing broken things, to improving our objects to make them work harder for us,

to increased self-confidence when you complete a project. We want the whole of Britain to join us on this mission to get handy!”

Top ten troublesome tasks for Brits (% of respondents who would not feel confident undertaking)

  1. Wallpapering 38%
  2. Putting up shelves 33%
  3. Rewiring a plug 30%
  4. Bleeding a radiator 28%
  5. Changing a fuse 28%
  6. Building flat pack furniture 22%
  7. Unblocking a sink 21%
  8. Painting a room 21%
  9. Fixing a broken handle 20%
  10. Hanging a picture 19%

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