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Rise in the female DIY-er

Eight out of ten women do not trust their partners to paint a room and most would rather decorate their homes themselves than rely on someone else to do it.

Contrary to the traditional stereotype, new research shows that seventy per cent of women are happy to do DIY around the house while 77 per cent say they could strip a room of wallpaper without asking anyone to help.

The findings are contained in a study of 2,000 British women commissioned by B&Q, the retail chain.

Evidence of females' increased confidence around the house comes as men appear to be losing their ability to carry out even the most basic DIY tasks.

Research released earlier this month found that a quarter of men do not feel comfortable changing a lightbulb, while a third say that do not have the basic skills to replace a blown fuse or wire a plug. Nearly half admitted that they are unable to bleed a radiator.

B&Q’s survey found that three-quarters of women believe themselves to be just as competent at basic DIY skills as any man. Of the 60 per cent of women who are currently in a relationship, 35 per cent say that they do more home improvement around the house than their partner.

The rise of the female DIY-er could also be put down to recent increases in female home ownership, experts believe. Single women now account for more than one in five UK households.

Katherine Paterson, B&Q’s marketing director, said: “Our findings show that DIY is no longer just a man’s game. More women are recognising that with the right skills anyone can try their hand at tiling, putting up a shelf or taking on a bigger refurbishment project.”

Over half of those enrolling in DIY classes in B&Q’s stores are now female. The most popular classes are plumbing, shelving and tiling, Ms Paterson said.

The survey revealed that half of all women spend between one and five hours each week doing DIY, while one in five do between six and ten hours a week.

When asked why they have taken up DIY, the most common answer among women was that it is the “only way to get anything done”. Three in ten said that they enjoyed the challenge while a quarter said that wanted to stop asking their fathers for help.

Source : James Hall – The Telegraph

19 August 2011
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