As skills shortages continue to be a major headache across the construction industry, new research has found that more and more people are opting for the DIY route when it comes to home improvements. 

With surging demand for qualified tradespeople often meaning lengthy wait times, many are taking matters into their own hands. Combine this with soaring interest rates and rising house prices, and this major shift in attitude towards DIY comes as little surprise.  

In the company’s new The Way We Live Now report, B&Q has examined some of the key drivers behind this rise in DIY, and how traditional stereotypes are being altered as a result. 

More Gen Z women tackling DIY 

B&Q’s findings highlight how younger generations, particularly Gen Z women, are a significant factor behind these increases. Three in four Gen Z women say they now enjoy undertaking home improvement works, while a further 80% say they feel empowered by learning DIY skills.

Furthermore, almost two in three Gen Z women say they could make a piece of furniture themselves, nearly 70% believe they could install a shelf or bookcase and 93% say they have carried out their own home improvements in the last year. 

The impact of social media

Social media and the rise of DIY influencers has proved to be a great enabler when it comes to growing confidence. 82% of Gen Z women say that watching other women complete complex home DIY has inspired them. A further 77% say that this kind of home improvement content has made them realise they can tackle projects themselves rather than rely on tradespeople. 

Long wait times for tradespeople

The ongoing difficulties of booking a tradesperson has unsurprisingly been one of the biggest reasons for the increasing popularity in DIY. According to the B&Q report, 81% of tradespeople are booked up in advance, and 66% of customers say it’s getting harder to secure their services. This has led nearly half of those surveyed to carry out simple household DIY projects themselves 

Recent research from IronmongeryDirect (a survey of 500 UK tradespeople conducted by The Leadership Factor in 2024) echoed these sentiments, finding that the average wait time for a UK tradesperson was now at almost five weeks.

With the construction industry’s skills shortages showing no real signs of slowing anytime soon, these household DIY skills are clearly very valuable.

DIY courses in decorating, plastering, or tiling are a great way to equip yourself with the core skills to carry out simple tasks around the house, though it’s also worth reiterating that more complex work should always be left to a qualified professional.