Britain’s DIY Failures

A New survey has revealed that almost half of us fail to complete the DIY projects that we start. I have to say that I am not surprised judging by the number of times I have seen friends’ homes left unfinished after an initial burst of enthusiasm fails to last the course. I am also acutely aware of how the rigours of a major project can soon start to wear you down as the reality of the hard work begins to bite.

The Disruption

I recently launched on a complete revamp of my home. Fired up by the prospect of creating beautiful rooms I started out with great enthusiasm but it wasn’t long before the novelty factor wore off and the whole project began to feel like a total drag. When you are spending most of your spare time covered in dust and paint and are forced to live in what looks like a building site it is easy to have second thoughts. I have persevered thus far but with the overhaul of the kitchen looming my tolerance of the disruption is wearing thin.

Incompetence Rules

I may still be ploughing on but it would appear that many people have ceased operations! The survey by energy company E.ON questioned over 2000 people and revealed that 44 per cent of them give up before the finish line. The biggest reason for admitting defeat has turned out to be incompetence! The burst of enthusiasm that kicks of the projects is dampened by the realisation that the householders’ skills are not up to the task.


Boredom is also a common reason for giving up and boy can I understand that one. By the time I started scraping the Artex off the fourth ceiling in my house I knew that I was ready to quit. I didn’t but it was a close run thing. The other big cause of failed DIY is being too busy and that is not a hard one to comprehend either. It is all too easy to underestimate how long tasks will take and for amateurs the lack of skills only serves to slow things down.

Women Win the Day

Interestingly women are more likely to complete their jobs than men. Perhaps this is the key to my success thus far! I am worried about that kitchen though. I face the prospect of weeks of disruption and no cooker as the old fittings are demolished, the walls plastered and the new floor laid. I am getting the professionals to install the new kitchen though and that is just as well because I am liable to be at the end of my tether by the time the new units arrive.

History of Failure

I also have history when it comes to DIY failures. Somewhere in the depths of one of my cupboards is a pair of curtains that I started making for the cloakroom about 5 years ago. Outraged by the cost of a simple pair of sheers I decided to make them myself and out came my treasured sewing machine. Unfortunately I got bored of the whole enterprise and awarded myself a break and then never quite managed to force myself back into action. I really must avoid a similar episode with the kitchen!

Sally Stacey is a keen writer who is trying to juggle work and home rennovations