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Originally posted 1st April 2023

Last updated 31st May 2023

Leave it to me: 7 in 10 women feel confident taking on DIY, with a third saying they wouldn’t trust their partners to do it

From putting out the bins to rewiring a plug: DIY jobs have traditionally been assigned...

Paul Hambidge

Managing Director Factory Direct Flooring Ltd

5 min read
Written by Expert

From putting out the bins to rewiring a plug: DIY jobs have traditionally been assigned as ‘blue’ jobs but that’s all changing, according to our recent study

We commissioned a survey of over 1,000 women homeowners in the UK, and picked up some fascinating insights into how they are becoming increasingly confident to tackle DIY tasks themselves. In fact, the study revealed that two-thirds of women are becoming increasingly confident in things like hanging wallpaper, installing garden fences and white goods.

Men not feeling the urge to DIY

On the flipside, men aren’t sharing this new-found love for DIY. Seven in 10 women wish their partners were more enthusiastic about DIY, and a third of women say that they don’t trust their partners not to mess it up.

What’s inspiring women to get into DIY?

The desire to crack on and create something new and/or beautiful by upcycling or refurbishing has hit new heights, and the survey suggests that being forced to tackle DIY projects themselves during lockdown was a key factor -  over 3 in 4 (76%) women who engaged in DIY projects throughout COVID-19 expressed a desire to continue tackling similar projects themselves.

Costs continue to bite

This, coupled with the cost of living crisis, has empowered women to pick up a paintbrush themselves rather than hire the professionals, with 4 in 5 women stating that they would prefer to take a DIY approach over hiring a professional tradesperson.

We’re loving (most) of it

Of all the DIY skillset, the single thing that women feel comfortable doing is hanging wallpaper, with the overwhelming majority (71%) feeling super confident about this task. Over a third are confident about installing things like a washing machine or fridge (38%) while over a quarter (27%) want to get involved in putting up a garden fence. That’s where the enthusiasm ends, with only 21% up for rewiring a light switch, and 7% feeling happy to plumb a new toilet.

Tasks that women feel confident to do:

  • Hanging wallpaper - 71%
  • Installing white goods - 38%
  • Installing a garden fence - 27%
  • Laying flooring - 26%
  • Laying carpet - 21%
  • Rewiring a light switch - 21%
  • Installing a new kitchen - 7%
  • Plumbing a new toilet - 7%

 

 

Flooring – the final DIY hurdle?

Laying flooring still represents a challenge, however, with just over a quarter of respondents (26%) who are happy to lay a floor. That said, 48% of women wouldn’t trust their partner to fit the floor either - somewhat surprising given that many floor types are now designed to be easy to fit, with click flooring and plenty of online help available such as how to lay herringbone flooring and how to lay click LVT flooring

Influencing DIY

When it comes to inspiration for these DIY efforts, it comes as no surprise that women picked up most of their ideas from social media, with Instagram named the most popular source of inspiration (42%). 

  • Instagram home renovation/styling accounts - 42%
  • Interior design/house building/renovation TV programmes - 41%
  • Pinterest - 37%
  • Store displays - 36%
  • Own creativity - 35%
  • Friends/family - 34%
  • Interior magazines print/online - 24%

 

Sisters – DIY-ing it for themselves

In fact, that’s where Emma Rowe found her new love of DIY.  Emma was inspired to build a garden wall, make a wardrobe from vintage ladders, upcycle a vanity chair and create more storage under a divan bed. Here are some examples of the ingenious work that she was inspired to create:

Project 1: Garden wall - built from scratch, including laying the groundwork

 

Project 2: Creating extra storage under a divan

All photos copyright of @emmarowe13

Emma says...

“I bought my home knowing it would involve complete renovation, and I’ve done everything I can to make it my own. I enjoy DIY-ing as I feel like I don’t need anyone (being the independent person that I am). I can make it personal as to how I want it to look, and saves me money while doing it. It keeps me busy, keeps my mind working, and afterwards I get that satisfying feeling knowing I have done this myself.”

“I have also tried some flooring, but that was sanding down and polishing or painting the hardwood floors, but I would like to try laying my own flooring.”

 

Project 3: Elle saves over £1000 by laying flooring herself

Women in DIY aren’t just doing it for the feelgood factor - they’re making big savings too. Elle was inspired to rebuild her entire living and dining room floors from scratch, laying both floors herself to create a stunning end result.

All images copyright of edwardianelements

Living room and dining room flooring renovation

After finding out that her living and dining room were completely rotted through, Elle got to work to rebuild the joists. Once all joists were replaced and the floorboards were back down, she chose a new Herringbone laminate from Factory Direct Flooring. Using just a jigsaw, mallet, angle measuring tool and a pencil, Elle relaid the floors for both rooms. By flexing her DIY muscles, Elle saved around £1000 on the cost of getting a professional in.

Elle says…

“The flooring project was completely new to me (and my Dad, who helped!) but I took my time and I’m really happy with the end result! It was quite fiddly to start with and definitely took a lot of patience, but I'm so pleased we gave it a go ourselves and it was really great to learn a valuable skill along the way.”

On learning how to lay flooring

“We were completely self taught and had never renovated before! When it came to laying the flooring I looked at many YouTube tutorials and followed them step by step. YouTube really is your best friend! My dad is also really handy so we've learnt a lot from him.”

Learn how to do it yourself with FDF’s step by step Laminate installation guide.

“I really enjoy DIY and being able to make the changes to your home yourself. I've loved challenging myself and completing DIY projects that I never thought I would! There is a lot of satisfaction in sitting back and thinking "I did/built that".

 

Methodology:

Factory Direct Flooring commissioned Cint to survey 1,011 women homeowners in the UK.

Fair use statement:

Do you think your audience would like to hear about this research? Please feel free to share this on your website or social media accounts if so, giving credit to the original research with a link back to this page.

Photos by OPPO Find X5 Pro on Unsplash and Photo by Roselyn Tirado on Unsplash

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About the Author

Paul Hambidge, Managing Director

Paul has 32 years of flooring industry knowledge & experience from both an installation and manufacturing perspective. He started out as installer of very large commercial flooring projects for multiple retailers. As director of Factory Direct Flooring Ltd, he has been involved in all aspects of flooring and has worked with some of the largest producers of wood flooring, vinyl flooring and laminate floors.