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Hail Britannia Women! They DIY More Than Men

We say, “You go, sisters” to British women who are increasing their home improvement skills, while their countrymen seem to be losing theirs.

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A recent article in England’s The Telegraph links two DIY surveys — one that shows 70% of British women are happy to perform do-it-yourself tasks around the house, and another that finds 15% of British men under 50 shy away from even changing a light bulb. (This video shows you how to change a bulb:)

Here are some standout results in the July study of 2,000 British women commissioned by B&Q, the UK’s largest home improvement retailer.

  • 50% of women spend between one and five hours a week doing DIY; 20% spend between six and 10 hours.
  • 82% would rather paint a room themselves than leave it to a partner or relation.
  • Of the 60% of women currently in a relationship, 35% say they do more DIY around the house than their partner.

Why do British women dive into DIY projects? According to the survey:

  • It’s the only way anything can get done.
  • They had just bought a house or flat.
  • They enjoy the challenge.
  • They want to stop asking their dad for help.

On the other hand, a survey of 3,000 British men under 50 shows that 20% happily admit they can’t do basic DIY jobs and rate their skills as “poor.” The 2010 study also shows:

  • 26% would struggle to rewire a plug.
  • 16% would not be able to hang a picture.
  • 14% would not be able to paint a wall.

Why are British men under 50 so DIY unfriendly? Laziness and hectic lifestyles, according to, an online marketplace for trade services, which commissioned the study.

“Whereas our dads and granddads would have done most of the DIY themselves, it seems you might now have more luck just calling in a professional straight away,” says Bal Mattu, founder.

Who’s better at completing DIY projects in your home?

lisa-kaplan-gordon Lisa Kaplan Gordon

is an avid gardener, a member of the Fairfax County Master Gardeners Association, and a builder of luxury homes in McLean, Va. She’s been a Homes editor for Gannett News Service and has reviewed home improvement products for AOL. Follow Lisa on Google+.

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