Planning to tackle a home improvement or DIY project this summer? You’re not alone. Sunny summer weekends and school holidays will mean many of us finally getting around to those home improvement jobs we’ve been putting off.
The three letters D-I-Y strike fear into the hearts of some. But the reality is that there are many jobs that can easily be tackled at home without professional help – a quick Google search is enough to give us all the information we need for some jobs. With that in mind, we used Google search data to find out which are the most common jobs that people in the UK are planning to tackle themselves this summer.
The data revealed a common theme of sprucing up our outdoor space by laying a new patio or decking. Around 9100 Brits each month have been asking Google for help on ‘how to lay a patio,’ and around 4100 have been Googling ‘how to lay decking.’
A surprising number of brave Brits have considered stepping up to the challenge of plastering (around 5900 per month). Another bunch of savvy savers have also been looking for guidance on retiling their bathrooms (around 2500 per month). Tiling is certainly not the easiest of DIY tasks, but with an average cost of £500-£1000 to hire a professional to tile a small bathroom, it certainly seems worth considering!
The data suggests that we tend to turn to professionals for riskier jobs, with fewer people searching for ‘how to’ information on electrical tasks. The only electrical task to make it into the top 10 is doorbell installation (around 1300 per month), which poses less risk than dealing with light fittings.
On the whole, people are more comfortable with DIY plumbing than electrics. Fixing a leaky or dripping tap is the fourth most-searched for DIY job according to the data. For basic bathroom issues, it appears that people are also happy to give-it-a-go themselves, avoiding the need to call in a plumber to a potentially messy scene.
The data on decorating shows that – whether or not they choose to do it themselves in the end – a lot of people consider doing plastering themselves. Plastering is renowned for being a difficult job, which is why many people turn to professionals. But for the brave ones who do decide to go solo, you can save yourself in the region of £300-£700, depending on the size of the room.
Drilling and old-fashioned hammer and nail jobs is another big category where people turn to Google for advice. Few people would want to call in a professional to do something as simple as mounting a shelf or a mirror on the wall. But at the same time, these are jobs that you clearly need to get right. It would be an expensive and potentially dangerous accident if your shelves or TV fell off the wall from a height.
The most popular category in the data was outdoor DIY jobs. COVID has meant people spending more time in their gardens, so it’s not a surprise to see that thousands of people have been looking for help on how to lay a new patio or decking. And considering that the average decking installation can cost as much as £1000-£2000, it’s easy to see why you’d consider giving it a pop yourself!
We gathered Google Search data on ‘how to’ queries to identify common DIY activities that people are looking for advice on. In certain cases, we conflated similar, related queries and added up the combined search volume to create a single data point. Pricing estimates for tradespeople are averages based on a range of UK suppliers.
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