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Britain finding solace in ‘strangely satisfying’ DIY

Seven out of ten people in the UK feel the next three months is a good time to start a new DIY project, according to new research from leading tool firm, Draper Tools.

The study also found that as nation, many people find DIY to be therapeutic, with several tasks cited as being ‘strangely satisfying’ in the current climate. Britain also appears to be levelling up its DIY abilities too, with over a third of the population saying they plan to learn new DIY skills or attempt a DIY task they’ve never tried before in the coming months.

The study, commissioned by Draper Tools in March 2020, polled 2,000 adults in the UK to explore current attitudes towards home improvements.

Mowing the lawn, jet-washing the patio and polishing surfaces until they shine were identified as some of the UK’s most pleasing DIY jobs. Putting the finishing touches on a final layer of paint and digging out troublesome weeds also appeared in the top ten list.

Elsewhere in the top 40 list were organising a chaotic toolbox, filling in holes with polyfilla and cathartically smashing down a wall. Others expressed a love for cleaning paint off a paintbrush and stripping wallpaper too.

Kev Smith, Head of Marketing at Draper Tools said: “While it’s true that these are certainly unprecedented and uncertain times, it does appear that many people are trying to find the silver lining in all of this and using the time at home to take on new DIY projects or tackle long put off household jobs. In fact, just over half of those polled, told us that making their home a nicer place to be is a priority right now.”

The trend could be positive news for some retailers, with over a third of people agreeing that they were likely to increase their spending on DIY in the next three months. The research also found that one in five people anticipate that they’ll carry out up to seven DIY jobs, household repairs or home improvements during that time. While, two out of five people are planning on having a spring clean in the coming months.

The garden and outside space is also high on the nation’s agenda for the next three months. A quarter of the population are planning to clean their patio, while just under four in ten have some garden weeding to attend to. Almost three in ten want to tidy their garage or shed, and 15% are planning to go through their toolboxes and sort them out.

Inside the home, one in six have pictures they want to frame and hang, while a quarter are going to paint whole rooms. One in 20 adults is even planning on fitting a whole new bathroom, according to the research.

The study went on to reveal how DIY and home improvement appear to be bringing some level of comfort to the nation. Just under a third of UK adults admit to having spent time watching ‘oddly satisfying’ DIY videos online, like filthy patios being slowly blasted clean. The same amount also believe DIY is one of their favourite ways to relax and switch off from everyday life. In fact, during a typical week, the average person spends more than two hours watching DIY programmes, with three in ten finding them ‘relaxing’.

When asked what was so satisfying about DIY, the most common answer was standing back and seeing the results. A quarter of the nation said that actually doing the task was the most satisfying aspect, while one in ten said they enjoyed shopping for their DIY project.

Kev Smith of Draper Tools added: “The good thing about DIY is that whatever the size or scale of the project, it can feel incredibly rewarding. While not all DIY tasks are satisfying while you’re doing them, there is always satisfaction to be had at the end of a project. No matter how stressful our lives are, or whatever’s going on in the world – finding that perfect screw out of the hundreds in the box, or hanging a sheet of wallpaper perfectly straight is always going to feel great.


1. Planting seeds / bulbs / plants
2. Mowing the lawn
3. When flatpack furniture slots perfectly into place
4. Weeding
5. Jet washing the patio
6. Painting with a roller
7. Hanging up a picture perfectly
8. Painting a fence
9. Painting the final layer of paint
10. Oiling a noisy hinge
11. Stripping wallpaper
12. Filling in holes with polyfilla
13. Polishing surfaces until they shine
14. Fixing something with glue
15. ‘Cutting in’ – perfect lines when painting
16. Getting wallpaper perfectly lined up
17. Trimming a hedge perfectly
18. Getting a shelf perfectly lined up
19. Hammering nails into wood
20. Smashing down walls
21. Using a drill
22. Organising tools
23. Successfully removing a screw which has lost its thread
24. Using power tools
25. Sorting through a massive pile of screws/nails and finding the one you need
26. Using a tape measure
27. Sanding wood
28. Sawing wood
29. Varnishing furniture
30. Cleaning paint off a paint brush
31. Fixing a crooked shelf
32. Laying grass seed
33. Using sealant
34. Cutting a tile so it fits perfectly
35. Plastering to a smooth finish
36. Laying grass turf
37. Planing wood
38. Fixing a wonky floorboard
39. Perfectly laying a patio
40. Watching paint dry

Research commissioned by Draper Tools and conducted by OnePoll, March 2020. Sample size 2,000 UK adults. For more information on the latest Draper Tools research visit

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