To DIY or not to DIY? That is the perpetual question facing homeowners as they tackle a range of renovations to their property. And while donning a tool belt and attempting everything from stripping wallpaper to knocking down a partition wall sounds doable in theory, we all know that this process rarely runs smoothly in practice.
Now new research conducted for National Home Improvement Month has revealed that budding DIYers over the age of 45 may have a distinct advantage over a younger generation of home improvers.
When survey participants were asked which DIY tasks they felt comfortable doing, the above trend seemed to play out. While 67 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds were comfortable with putting up a picture, this figure was a higher 78 per cent for those aged between 45 and 54.
Putting together flat pack furniture produced an even wider gulf between the above age ranges with the former coming in at 48 per cent, and the latter at 68 per cent. Older DIYers also seemed to be more comfortable with applying wallpaper with figures coming in at 56 per cent compared to 41 per cent for those aged between 18 to 24.
And when looking at what channels different age groups turned to for home inspiration, the survey revealed that social media (54 per cent) was the primary source of inspiration for 18 to 24-year-olds, while magazines (38 per cent) topped the list for those aged between 45 and 54.
More interesting still were the combined results for ‘other’ and ‘none of the above’ categories – 13 per cent for those aged between 18 to 24 and a higher 24 per cent 45 to 54-year-olds. Interior design presenter Julia Kendell – who has worked on shows including DIY SOS and 60 Minute Makeover – suggests that inspiration from early noughties DIY programmes including Changing Rooms could have bumped up this figure for 45+ DIYers, despite many coming to an end more than a decade ago.
Commenting, she says: ‘I think the investment potential and increase in property ownership in the nineties and noughties led to the massive popularity of DIY shows which provided inspiration for enthusiastic DIY-ers.’
‘I believe they were so influential because they gave confidence to those wishing to try something new and the entire industry grew to keep up with demand. Suddenly everyone wanted the latest colour scheme and trend where, in previous generations, furniture and furnishings would be expected to last a lifetime.’
‘There has been a natural move away from home improvement shows with the downturn in the property market and economic climate,’ adds Julia. ‘I also think most of the shows feel too contrived for a modern audience.’
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How would you rate your DIY prowess?