Odd jobs cost Britain’s households £7.8 billion a year

22 Oct, 2015

Consumers spend more £7.8bn each year in total on tradesman visits, according to new research that explores the fear of picking up the toolbox. In the last 12 months, Brits have spent £294 on average employing a tradesperson to carry out minor repairs within their homes.

 According to research from Swinton Insurance, the majority of Brits shy away from DIY, with less than half (48%) feeling brave enough to carry out minor repairs in the home themselves. A quarter even admit that they don’t feel confident at all carrying out DIY tasks of any description. When Brits were asked what odd jobs they do feel confident undertaking, just 49% said putting up a shelf, 35% said fixing a leaking tap, 17% said fitting a sound system and 60% said unblocking a drain.

 Tradespeople are in agreement with the view that people shy away from basic DIY, with eight in ten (83%) believing Brits are too quick to ask for help. They estimate they spend an average of three fixing jobs their customers could do themselves.

 Swinton’s research also brings to light the cost of getting it wrong when it comes to home improvements. Tradespeople believe they spend an average of two hours 21 minutes a day repairing DIY tasks that have gone wrong. The research found Brits have a tendency to get their wires crossed when it comes to electrical based odd jobs in particular. According to tradespeople, the number one botched job they spend time fixing is changing a fuse, closely followed by wiring and changing plugs. When asked how much money they’ve spent on hiring tradespeople to fix a botched DIY job in their home, Brits admitted to over £150 on average in the past 12 months.

Swinton wants to help Britain get more DIY savvy. The UK’s largest high street insurance has teamed up with tradespeople to help Brits with some of the most common jobs they are likely to face when looking after their homes. This includes useful, practical advice from professional plumbers, builders and electricians.

A spokesman for Swinton Insurance, said: “The findings make it clear that much more needs to be done to educate Brits on basic DIY. It’s absurd that we spend hundreds of pounds on odd jobs we could do ourselves, particularly when family budgets continue to be stretched. But we understand that DIY can be daunting. That’s why we’ve launched our Tips from the Trades online hub, to help Brits get up to speed with their DIY knowledge.

Of course the need for professionals is always going to exist, and there are some tasks only experts should handle, especially complicated electrical and plumbing jobs. It’s also vital that when you do hire an expert, you ensure they are a qualified tradesperson – if not you run the risk of invalidating your insurance.”