UK: UK householders spend £16 billion a year fixing things around the home (But there’s a further bill for one in five homes for bodged DIY)

UK householders typically spend £16 billion* a year fixing things that have gone wrong around the home, according to new statistics released today by Aviva. Research conducted as part of the home insurer’s latest ‘Home’ report, reveals that each UK household spends £589 on average annually, to put right domestic problems.

However, some households spend a great deal more than they had budgeted for, as one in five (22%) admit that they have had to pay for a professional to put things right, when they’d had a DIY task go wrong. In fact, one in 10 households (9%) say they have done this on several occasions.

The average amount paid out in the event of such a DIY disaster is £1,319 - equating to almost £8 billion** across all affected homes - although almost one in five ‘bodging’ households (18%) say they managed to run up a bill of more than £3,000 in order to put things right.

The top five bodged DIY jobs which required professional help to put right were revealed as:

  1. Unblocking a toilet
  2. Fixing electrical wiring 
  3. Fixing a broken boiler 
  4. Unblocking a drain 
  5. Fixing electrical sockets and switches

The findings are particularly ironic considering the common reason people give for fixing things themselves is the desire to save money (69%). People also complain that it can be difficult to get tradespeople to come out to them (54%) and that it can be awkward finding a suitable time for them to visit (42%). A wary 18% also say they don’t trust tradespeople not to overcharge them.

Adam Beckett, Propositions Director for Aviva UK says: “When things go wrong around the home, the cost of putting things right is very often at the front of people’s minds. So it’s not surprising to see that many people will have a go themselves when the task in question is relatively straightforward. That said, even simple tasks can go wrong and our research shows that one in five householders have ended up paying for a professional to put things right when a DIY job hasn’t quite worked out.

“Home emergency cover can be a great way of providing peace of mind, so householders can feel assured that in the event of a broken boiler or no central heating, they know where to turn to get expert help.”

Aviva Response home emergency cover provides customers with peace of mind that their heating, plumbing and electrics are covered in the event of a breakdown or accidental damage. To find out more visit

View the latest full Aviva Home Report: Home Skills and Household Tasks here.


Notes to editors:

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:

Aviva Press Office:  Sarah Poulter, 01904 452 828 / 07800 691569,

All results relate to research commissioned by Aviva and carried out by Censuswide research in February / March 2017 unless stated otherwise. 2004 adults from across the UK were interviewed about their habits and roles around the home.

*Based on ONS statistics, Families and Households in the UK 2016: Figures equate to 27.1 million households multiplied by £589 = £15,961,500,000

** Based on ONS statistics and Aviva data. 22% of 27.1 million households multiplied by £1,319.

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