All the gear, no DIY idea

  • Brits waste £130m on unused DIY tools in the last year
  • One in four (28%) homeowners bought tools last year that have yet to see the light of day
  • A fifth (21%) of homeowners have had a costly DIY disaster in the past
  • Half don’t even know if they’re insured should they have a DIY disaster

One in four (26%) British homeowners proclaim themselves homespun handymen, who do DIY for the sheer love of it, yet Brits are splashing out close to £130million(1) unused tools, with one in four (28%) admitting their best intentions are now gathering dust in a cupboard under the stairs.


Ahead of the Easter bank holiday, a study by insurance provider Policy Expert finds that half (52%) of homeowners will be embarking on some kind of DIY activity over the long weekend, with as many as 96 per cent happy to get their fingers dirty in the garden.


Yet despite all this garden-shed-tinkering and green-fingered-pottering, one in twenty (5%) of those surveyed believe, incorrectly, that a trowel is used to check that shelves are level! Perhaps this explains why a fifth (21%) admit they’ve had a costly DIY disaster in the past.

When things do go wrong, half (45%) of homeowners would fly the white flag and turn to a tradesman, while most others (42%) would look for advice online before having another go.

Most worryingly of all is that, despite this danger of a DIY disaster, almost half (49%) of British homeowners don’t know if they’re insured if things go wrong. Especially worrying when one in five (22%) are only picking up tools begrudgingly to save money.


Adam Powell, head of operations at Policy Expert commented:

“DIY can be a great money-saver, but it can also end up costing you dearly. We typically see accidental damage claims go up on public holidays, so if you’re not confident with your toolbox but want to have a go yourself, double check that your insurance policy covers you if things don’t go to plan.”

For more information on home insurance and tips on ensuring your policy is right for you, visit

Notes to editors
* According to The Department for Communities and Local Government there were 14.5 million owner occupied households in the UK in 2009-10. Policy Expert findings show that 28% of households bought tools last year that have yet to see the light of day. This equates to 4,060,000 households. Using the mid-range example of a Black & Decker Epc12Ca 12V Drill Driver (priced at £32.00 on B&Q) this means households will have spent approximately £129,920,000 on unused DIY tools in the last year. (£32 x 4,060,000 = £129,920,000) []

Policy Expert customer poll of 3,045 customers. Respondents were interviewed between 27 and 31 February 2014. The research was conducted online on behalf of Policy Expert by independent research company SmartSurvey.

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