Greengates Builders Merchants

Who Does DIY?

Who does DIY?

In a study conducted over ten years ago with manwatcher Desmond Morris , only about 2% of men and 12% of women said that they never did any kind of DIY. Little seems to have changed. Today's first-time DIYers claim that they are no different from their friends and contem­pora­ries. "Everybody", they said, "is a DIYer now". If anything has changed, it is probably the fact that women are now even more centrally involved in the DIY process. And not just making curtains or painting the bedroom walls. The female nestbuilder now sands floors, cuts up sheets of MDF and knows what a chuck key is for.

The average age in a recent survey of first-time DIYers was 28, rather older than might have been the case of the previous generation. But this is to be expected. Employment and financial consi­dera­tions mean that people set up home together rather later on in life than their parents. Nearly three quarters were married or 'living together' but over 20% were setting up a 'proper' home for themselves on their own. About 3% were involved in DIY in a house shared with friends.

The typical property occupied by the first-time DIYer is the semi-detached house in the suburbs – such an icon of post-war Britain that it has been the subject of poetry and pretentious archi­tec­tural analysis. However, it is home, and therefore worthy of all the loving perso­nalising that DIY brings to otherwise bland and commonplace envi­ron­ments.


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