Research shows basic repair skills gap

Young Brits haven’t been taught basic home repair skills, according to new research. Less than a third (31%) of 18-24 year olds know how to how to change a light fitting, compared to 60% of over 55s. Just over a third (37%) of young adults know how to replace a shower head, whilst 65% of over 55s would be confident with the same task.

The survey, commissioned by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS), found that adults born after 1985 are increasingly unable to take on simple tasks.

Only one third (31%) of 18-34 year olds, both millennials and Gen-Zs, would know how to bleed a radiator – whereas an impressive 79% of over-55s would be able to do this quick job.

In fact, across the board of basic home repairs, those born in the 1960s and earlier are more capable of repairs than younger generations.

On average, the home repairs Brits feel most capable of are:

  • Bleeding a radiator – 57%
  • Fixing a squeaky door 54.5%
  • Replacing a shower head – 53.3%
  • Fixing a blocked toilet – 44.6%
  • Replacing a light fixture – 44.5%
  • Fixing a hole in a wall – 43.9%
  • Fixing wobbly furniture – 43%
  • Fixing a leaky tap – 30.2%
  • Fixing a leaky loo – 21.1%

Julie Spinks, managing director of WRAS, said: “There is a clear generational divide when it comes to doing repairs in the home. ‘Generation Rent’ seems to have created a nation of people who aren’t confident in dealing with straight forward DIY tasks, from changing a light fixture to even bleeding a radiator. Knowing how to do some of these tasks can save time and money.

WRAS is urging people to know which repairs can be done by themselves and which ones require professional advice.

What’s reassuring is that most people wouldn’t tackle more technical plumbing jobs themselves, regardless of age. A small leak can cause havoc in the home and is something most homeowners, renters or landlords don’t want to deal with, given the emotional and financial impact it could cause if it’s not fixed properly. It’s always advisable to use an approved plumber to resolve any leaks,” she added.