Building a home together: Married Brits do more DIY (especially the men)
October 10th, 2023, Clifton Mark

Building a home together: Married Brits do more DIY (especially the men)

When it comes to improving their homes, Britons like to do it themselves. DIY-ers, who make up 52.8% of consumers, are twice as numerous as those who rely mainly on professionals (25.2%).

Data in YouGov Profiles also shows that nearly one in five (18.1%) say that DIY is a hobby for them, and one third of Britons say they’ve bought DIY products in the past year (31.4%, not shown on chart). Who are they?

In the first place, men (37.7%) are more likely than women (27.2%) to make these kinds of purchases. Yet the difference between genders is not as large as that between age groups. Only one in ten (11.1%) Britons aged 18-24 bought DIY products in the past year compared to 36.7% of 40-59-year-olds and 37.5% of those aged 60+.

One might conclude that the difference in age groups is simply down to the fact that young people are less likely to own their home. However, this can only explain part of the difference. Only 22.0% of young homeowners (18-24) shopped for DIY products last year compared to twice as many (41.0%) of those over 60.

Non-Londoners are also much more likely that than those living in the capital to buy DIY products. About a third of consumers in all other regions have bought DIY products in the past year, with Wales (34.5%) leading the pack.

This drops to less than a quarter 23.4% for Londoners, who purchase DIY products at a much lower rate than the rest of the country.

Among the many demographic differences that are related to DIY, one of the most important is whether consumers are married (in the broad sense) or single. Those who are married, living as married or in common law are far more likely to be interested in DIY than their single counterparts, whether never married, widowed or divorced.

Married Britons are nearly twice as likely as their single counterparts to have purchased some kind of DIY product in the past year (38.2% v. 21.7%) and more than twice as likely to have made major home improvements in the past year (8.1% v. 3.7%). It seems that single Britons are simply less interested in improving their living space: they’re twice as likely to say that they don’t do any home improvement projects at all (21.0% v. 9.2%).

There’s also an interesting twist in how marital status is linked to gender and DIY. While all partnered or married Britons are more likely to be interested in DIY as a hobby, the effect is much more pronounced with men.

While married women are marginally more likely to make DIY a hobby (13.6% vs. 12.7%), married men are nearly twice as likely as single men to do the same (28.5% v 15.5%).

It is unclear whether marriage makes men more likely to take on DIY as a hobby or whether men who are interested in home improvement are more marriageable.

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