DIY and the impact of COVID-19

Thanks to COVID-19 and the months of lockdown, many of us took on new skills that we may not have bothered with before (or even had the time to do in the first place). Baking saw a huge rise in popularity (no pun intended) while video games gave us a welcome escape from the reality of living through a pandemic.

These two examples alone gave us something to take our minds off the whole thing. However, something we’ve not mentioned is DIY in COVID-19 times. Being confined to our own homes really inspired a thirst for DIY and home improvement projects! Between DIY newbies and toolbox veterans, it seemed that everyone had a project or two on the go.

In this article, we’re going to dig into the numbers to see exactly how many people partook in DIY and home improvements throughout lockdown.

Home improvement sees huge rise in popularity

According to Arriva’s Home Life in Lockdown: Tech, Tensions and Tidying Up study, a huge 85% of UK residents undertook home improvement activities during the lockdown period, with decluttering and tidying up ranking highest. With lockdown giving people the opportunity to get around to those pesky jobs they’d been putting off, this drastic increase comes as little surprise. There’s a good chance that you also cleaned/organised your toolbox in this time, too.

Elsewhere, data from Comscore shows some telling search activity regarding home improvement and home furnishings. Compared to the week 13th-19th January 2020, 20th-26th April shows a significant increase in visits to home furnishings websites with a 57% increase. France even saw a 71% increase! Clearly, the thought of spending so much time in our homes motivated us to improve our living spaces as much as possible.

DIY gets the top spot for UK popularity

Home improvement has enjoyed its day in the sun, but it’s nothing compared to the meteoric rise in DIY projects. According to research conducted by Ronseal, more than half (56%) of the UK public worked on DIY projects in lockdown with an average of four jobs being completed. This begs the question: what was stopping us from engaging with DIY before COVID-19? The same research found that respondents blame a lack of motivation (48%), lack of time (43%), and lack of confidence (27%).

Now it’s time to get our analytical hats on. We’ve landed upon some very revealing insights courtesy of Dickies. The workwear brand found that searches relating to garden DIY projects increased by 1241% due to lockdown. This peek into the online habits of consumers is fascinating. The analysts at Dickies also broke down the searches by keyword, which you can see in the image here.

What about general DIY attitudes? How have they changed during COVID-19?

Some of us love DIY, while others shy away from the prospect of even putting a shelf up. Data analysts and thought leaders for the retail industry, Opinium, recently published their Opinium Retail Tracker: Exploring the Loved/Loathed Task of DIY and it truly lifts the lid on our attitudes towards DIY.

Here are Opinium’s findings.

  • DIY remains male-oriented

Opinium found that 66% of males stated that they do most of the DIY tasks in their home, compared to just 22% of females.

  • Many of us are doubtful about our DIY skills

The data also reported that 14% always hire a professional to complete DIY jobs. The main reasons for this are reported as follows: danger surrounding using power tools (15%), not knowing where to start with a task (28%), and a lack of belief in their own DIY abilities (48%). That’s almost half!

  • There is some enjoyment to be had (if your DIY skills are up to scratch)

Over half (53%) claim they do enjoy DIY, Opinium found. This number is dependent on the number of people who have the confidence and skills to complete DIY tasks. Aside from the 53%, a quarter of the UK (23%) reported indifference towards DIY, while 18% (almost a fifth) stated that DIY is not something that they enjoy doing at all. It’s not for everyone!

Have you tried your hand at DIY? It’s never too late

As evidenced, DIY has boomed in the UK. If you’re yet to be swept up by DIY mania, it’s never too late to get started. Why not invest in your first tool box and tool box inserts? Our brand new foam inserts for tool boxes allow you to get exactly the right size you need to protect your tools. Using Easy Peel technology, simply enter your size specifications into our calculator and we’ll give you an instant quote. Complete the order, and your customised inserts will be with you in no time.

In the meantime, be sure to take a look at our blog! You may find the following articles of some interest:

Remember: you can get in touch if you have any questions. Give us a call on 0800 8400 166 if you’d prefer to talk to us directly.

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