It may be time to brush up on your digital DIY skills

Posted: 9th Jul 2019

There's a new type of DIY in town - it's now the era of digital DIY

The rise of generation rent means younger age groups are increasingly unable to develop their DIY skills - yet while they may be falling behind on the hands-on front, they're developing another useful set of skills.

Research, carried out on behalf of Aspect, found that while traditional DIY talents are highly valued, the need for digital DIY skills are catching up and starting to overtake in terms of their perceived usefulness.

This has seen the younger generations are becoming a dab hand at fixing modems, programming smart TVs and backing up online data, skills that the UK agree are just as useful as the more traditional DIY talents.

When it comes down to it, of the 10 DIY skills that we perceive to be the most useful, three were digital - these were repairing a faulty router to fix the internet connection, setting up and using a smart TV, and finding deals online.

The most useful DIY skills are:

1. Assembling flat-pack furniture (87 per cent)
2. Fixing a leak (85 per cent)
3. Putting a shelf up (84 per cent)
4. Hanging blinds (83 per cent)
5. Changing locks (82 per cent)
6. Fixing the router (81 per cent)
7. Installing a washing machine (81 per cent)
8. Using a smart TV (80 per cent)
9. Hanging wallpaper (79 per cent)
10. Identifying deals and bargains online (79 per cent)

While being able to assemble flat-pack furniture still reigns supreme, what stands out is that certain digital DIY skills have overtaken what were once considered traditional DIY skills. For instance, in the digital day and age we're in, not having internet access is disastrous - this is reflected by it being crucial to restore a lost connection.

Nick Bizley, director of operations at Aspect, said of the study: "These findings show that although people still really value traditional DIY talents, the concept of ‘handiness’ is evolving to include skills that didn’t even exist ten years ago. For example, changing a lightbulb was something most people could do quite easily, but the advent of the ‘smart home’ has introduced new complexities to what used to be a simple task."

"Handiness is in the eye of the beholder and it’s unfair to criticise people for lacking traditional DIY abilities because the chances are, they’ve got equally useful and impressive skills that are set to become more necessary as homes evolve."

"Young people have been getting flack for not being as handy as their parents, but when you consider the proportion of 18-34 year olds in rented homes compared to their parents’ generations, and that renters are often prohibited from doing their own maintenance due to their tenancy agreements, it’s no surprise they’re typically less experienced with traditional DIY skills. But young people are the ones most of us turn to when the Internet goes down or when we need help setting up the latest smart device. Everyone is handy with something and the study shows that we’re learning to value new expressions of handiness more and more."

The top five digital DIY skills were:

1. Fixing a faulty modem and router (81 per cent)
2. Using a smart TV (80 per cent)
3. Identifying online bargains (79 per cent)
4. Syncing contacts to a new smartphone (76 per cent)
5. Backing up data to the cloud (75 per cent)

You can find out more about the study here.