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Hard-up Britons shun DIY tasks

Overall, expenditure on home maintenance (DIY and tradesmen’s services) has fallen by 9% over the past year, from £17.8billion in 2009 to £16.2billion in 2010. Expenditure on tradesmen’s services declined by 3% over the same period from £6.9billion to £6.7billion.

Over the past decade, UK households have increasingly looked to undertake home maintenance themselves instead of paying for tradesmen’s services. In 2000, UK households spent 7% more in real terms on hiring tradesmen than DIY. By the end of the decade, however, this trend had been reversed as households spent 41% more on DIY than on hiring tradesmen in 2010.

And while DIY expenditure sits at a 12-year low, down -0.2% since 2000, this decline is still substantially smaller than the 34% fall in expenditure on tradesmen’s services over the same period.

Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, said: "Spending on DIY has fallen significantly over the past year. The current squeeze on household finances from high inflation and weak earnings growth has made it difficult for many households to spend as much as they used to on discretionary items such as home maintenance.

"However, the benefits associated with maintaining or improving your property is likely to ensure that over the long term the popularity of DIY will remain enduring."

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