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DIY not a strong point for East Anglians

PUBLISHED: 12:32 17 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:45 03 March 2010

SUFFOLK DIY enthusiasts face a shattering blow to their egos today with the news that they are among the least clued-up in the country.

DIY will be on the agenda for many households this weekend as the Easter break provides the perfect opportunity to get on with lingering home improvements.

SUFFOLK DIY enthusiasts face a shattering blow to their egos today with the news that they are among the least clued-up in the country.

DIY will be on the agenda for many households this weekend as the Easter break provides the perfect opportunity to get on with lingering home improvements.

Whether it is decorating the hall, fitting new kitchen units or demolishing a wall to create the perfect kitchen-diner, homes will be quaking as enthusiastic novices set about their latest challenge.

But will the project be a success adding thousands of pounds in value to the house, or will it descend into a DIY disaster?

According to a national survey Britons are still struggling to get to grips with even the most basic DIY skills. One in ten say they are unable to change a plug without seeking some help and a third are not even brave enough to tackle assembling flat-pack furniture.

Many people said they could not put up shelves and some even admitted that they couldn't change a halogen lightbulb.

Concentrating on East Anglia the figures look even worse.

Only just over half the people questioned in our region thought they could put together flat-pack furniture. Worse still, just under half said they couldn't put up shelves or hang wallpaper.

Mr Melvin Robertson, proprietor of Richardson's Hardware in Garrick Way said: "People attempt a lot of projects which do not go quite right and we have to help them out of trouble. At the end of the day with good advice and the right tools they should be reasonably OK.

"The biggest problem is when people use the wrong tools. Also people don't plan their projects, they just jump right in on projects that are bigger than they are capable of and end up in a mess.

"We are always dealing with people's problems and trying to correct them. Lots of them are logical and can be solved by applying common sense. Practical knowledge is very important."

However Mrs Judith Button, a shop assistant at Scotts Hardware, in Ellenbrook Green, Ipswich, did not necessarily agree with the results of the survey. She said: "Obviously we get some people that know what they are doing and what they want. Other people come in and know the name of the tools they want but not what they look like."

N What do you think? Have you had any DIY disasters? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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