• Mon. Dec 11th, 2023

North East Connected

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People in the North East spend more than £1.4bn on professional help to fix their DIY disasters

People in the North East spend a staggering £1.4bn* each year calling on professionals to help rectify botched jobs around the home, according to new research from Local Heroes, a digital service that helps people to find trusted local tradespeople.

The independent national research** has highlighted that the majority of people in the region have had to call on professional help after a DIY job they tackled themselves went horribly wrong.

The average adult from the North East has messed up 11 jobs around their home, and spent £541.86 on professionals to rectify their catalogue of errors – the highest number of DIY disasters per person in the UK.

Region Average number of DIY disasters per person Total spend on rectifying DIY mistakes per person
West Midlands 11 £902.10
North East 11 £541.86
South East 10 £1,244.78
Scotland 10 £847.43
Wales 10 £353.52
Yorkshire 9 £715.19
East Midlands 9 £690.38
North West 9 £499.83
South West 6 £214.77

The results show that putting up shelves is the job most likely to go wrong, with more than a third of people (37%) experiencing a shelving mishap, jointly tied with painting at 37%, and followed by hanging wallpaper 29%.

The findings also show that nearly one in five have failed when trying to fix a dripping tap (18%), more than a quarter (26%) have been unable to unblock a drain and more than a fifth (27%) could not complete the task of bleeding a radiator.

Despite the abundance of DIY mishaps, two thirds (69%) of people in the North East who said they currently have jobs that need doing in their home are reluctant to call on professional help because they are confident they can tackle it themselves.

Furthermore, seven in ten (75%) are motivated to get the job done themselves to save money, while nearly two-fifths 39% said they do it because they feel they ‘should’ be able to undertake basic home maintenance tasks.

Finding a tradesperson can be a challenge for some. More than a third (34%) of people surveyed said they do not know where to find a reliable tradesperson in the region.

Worryingly four in ten (41%) said they never check if a tradesperson has proper qualifications, which could put them at risk of further expenditure.

Mat Moakes, Director of Local Heroes, commented: “You can get a great sense of achievement from completing your own DIY job but, as the survey shows, you have to be realistic about your capability. Calling on a fully qualified and insured tradesperson can save you time, hassle and money in the long run.

“We have more than 1,900 independent tradespeople in our network that are a beacon of hope for many people who are experiencing sleepless nights because of their DIY mishap.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, 22% of North East locals have injured themselves after a spot of DIY. Cuts from sharp objects, falling off ladders and splinters were all common ailments.



1 Put up shelves 37.20%
2 Paint a room 37.20%
3 Fix a toilet flush 30.50%
4 Hang wallpaper 29.30%
5 Bleed a radiator 26.80%
6 Lay a carpet 26.80%
7 Unblock a drain 25.60%
8 Fix a leaking tap 18.30%
9 Plaster a wall 18.30%
10 Fix a leaking radiator 14.60%
11 Wire a light fitting 14.00%
12 Make a flower bed 14.00%
13 Grouting 12.80%
14 Fix a boiler 12.20%
15 Tile a wall 11.60%
16 Fix a leaking pipe 11.00%
17 Make decking in the garden 10.40%
18 Fit a kitchen 9.10%
19 Tile a floor 9.10%
20 Fit a bathroom 4.90%
21 Fix a fuse box 4.90%
22 Sand wooden floors 4.30%
23 Build a tree house 1.20%