As weird as it sounds, the recession was good for DIY. It made sound sense not to spend scarce cash on hiring in specialised tradesmen for jobs that, with a bit of practice, you could attempt yourself. Whilst certain jobs still needed specialists (re-wiring and plumbing come to mind), many of the more common jobs around the house and garden were not beyond the abilities of the householder.
However, as the economy recovers steadily and many more of us experience the ‘feel-good factor’, the financial justification for getting involved in DIY may just be losing its sparkle. People are again believing that there are good reasons to employ a professional, such as ‘They will do a better job’ or‘It gives me more time to enjoy myself’. So is DIY still relevant in today’s Britain?
We know that fewer and fewer of us are picking up DIY skills from our parents and friends than in years gone by but then the same could be said about cooking and gardening, which, if TV programming is anything to go by, are extremely popular.
DIY provides a sense of achievement in a job well done. as Also, it teaches skills that can be very handy for small repairs that tradesmen will not touch (now that the worst of the recession is over that is) or jobs that need to be completed rapidly or in an emergency. Who knows, an interest in DIY might also be the starting point for a career in building or construction. Of course, there is the added bonus of getting out into the fresh air.
Looking around friends and neighbours however, I still see plenty of signs of DIY activity, suggesting that the end is far from nigh. Perhaps it is best to paraphrase (and probably misquote) Mark Twain, ‘Rumours of the death of DIY (may) have been greatly exaggerated’.