Millennials are ditching DIY in favour of DDI - Dad'll do it

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A study found tasks as small as putting up a shelf or replacing a doorknob are sending the younger generation into a panic… resulting in them picking up the phone and asking Dad to turn up at the door with his toolbox.

Researchers who polled 2,000 Brits aged 23-38 found manual skills are dying out and the idea of plastering a wall, painting the fence or replacing a socket is outdated.

The majority only do DIY a ‘few times a year’ and one in 10 have NEVER taken the plunge.

While 45 per cent seek help from their ‘old man’, only one in five would choose a professional to assist them.

Ironically, 60 per cent believe parents no longer pass down such skills to their kids, and over one third blamed their own lack of knowledge on older generations not sharing their tips.

In a bid to turn this around, Ronseal, the leading woodcare specialist, has partnered with mums and dads who are experienced in DIY as part of a campaign to get the nation’s DIY skills back up to scratch.

Of those polled, three in 10 admitted they never even attempt to change a lightbulb while only one quarter has hung wallpaper.

Despite this, half of millennials think it is still important to be knowledgeable about DIY.

A further two in 10 admitted they have pretended to be skilled at DIY in order to impress people, avoid embarrassment or save money.

Ronseal’s teams of experienced DIYers are also on hand to help save their blushes in the form of its ‘Pocket Parent’ in Facebook messenger. This bot which combines tips and advice from a host of DIYers means there is no need to call mum or dad for help anymore.

Rob Green, Marketing Manager – Product at Ronseal said:  “For homeowners who want to tackle jobs quickly and easily DIY skills are as important as ever – but our research shows that these skills are dying out, particularly among new homeowners. 

“By recruiting expert mums and dads and launching Ronseal’s Pocket Parent, we want to make it even easier for people to do the DIY themselves. DIY can be daunting and it’s embarrassing to be asking for help with the basics. 

“By partnering with the nation’s real DIY experts to show how easy it is, we hope DIY novices of all ages will feel they can finally pick up a brush get that fence painted themselves.”

Difficulty in getting on the housing ladder is undoubtedly part of the problem; a generation of young renters has been denied the chance to learn vital home improvement skills.

The research found 41 per cent believe it’s only worth learning DIY skills once they have moved out of their parent’s home and a further 36 per cent said becoming a homeowner encourages them to learn the required skills.

As well as asking for dad’s help, four in 10 would turn to the internet and YouTube, and 18 per cent would choose their mum’s assistance.

With so much help on offer today, 70 per cent believe there was more pressure on previous generations to be skilled in DIY.

A lack of confidence was also a factor, with over half being ‘scared’ of making mistakes and three in 10 admitted they ‘wouldn’t know where to start’.

To tackle this and help those that want to brush up on the basics, Ronseal will be piloting DIY workshop classes with the Men’s Shed Association over the summer. The first of which will take place in Manchester.  

Carpenter Nick Petit is one of the team behind the Moss Side Men’s Shed, he said:  “There is a real guilt among a lot of people who come here about not having great DIY skills.

“They feel it’s something they should know – but why should they? And how?

“We all need help to learn, to gain that confidence. Being able to take care of and maintain your own home is useful and saves you money in the long run.”

“The only reason I know what I’m doing is that I’ve been doing it for years. If I can share that then that is great.”

Money is indeed a priority over time for most, as 57 per cent would rather save cash by doing DIY themselves compared to the two in 10 who would prefer to save time by hiring help.

And while 32 per cent feel they have ‘some’ skills, they fear they are not good enough to do their own DIY.

The study found less than half have put up curtains or blinds and only three in 10 have painted a shed.

A huge eight in 10 believe basic DIY skills should be taught throughout education to equip younger generations for the future.

Click here to view tips from mums and dads experienced at DIY, and to find out more information about the campaign and try Ronseal’s Pocket Parent.

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