DIY for the YouTube Generation

A quarter of young adults rely on YouTube for DIY advice but 1 in 5 have to call in experts to fix DIY disasters, costing them £5,000. At double the UK average, is trying to do it yourself costing more than getting in the professionals?

Young adults are paying a hefty price for relying on YouTube for DIY advice, with new research from us at Towergate revealing that nearly a quarter (24%) of adults under 24 are now turning to the video sharing site for DIY help. What's more, over 1 in 5 (22%) have had to call in an expert to fix a DIY disaster, at a price tag of £5,000 – double the national average in the UK.

Interestingly, British men are almost twice as likely to call in professionals to fix mistakes, costing on average £1,300 more than women to rectify issues.

It’s also not just millennials looking to YouTube videos for DIY inspiration and guidance, with over a quarter (28%) of people across all ages turning to the site for home renovation help. In fact people, are now more likely to consult a YouTube video than a qualified friend or family member (25%), a DIY store or DIY TV show (12%).

But there's a price to pay for not getting it right, with nearly £2,500 spent on average per person fixing DIY disasters. However a comparison of the genders reveals that men are nearly twice as likely (17%) than women (11%) to call in experts and contractors to fix their DIY disasters, costing on average £3,000 compared to the £1,700 spent by women.

The large sums paid by young adults in particular may be the result of 4 in 5 people under 24 having received no formal training or qualifications in home renovation; a figure which increases to nearly three quarters (84%) of people between 25 and 34.

So what's going wrong?

Despite a distinct lack of formal training, young adults are still attempting more ambitious, large-scale or more complicated DIY work including;

  • Flooring (31%)

  • Bathroom refitting (17%)

  • House extensions (11%)

  • Roofing (10%)

  • Electrical or plumbing work (9%)

The recent warm weather has certainly kick started the DIY season, with nearly two thirds (63%) of Brits expected to carry out DIY projects over the next three months. Comparisons up and down the country reveal that those in London and the West Midlands appear to be the most haphazard, forking out £6,000 and £5,600 respectively on rectifying DIY disasters.

With bank holiday weekend fast approaching we expect there might be a few of us planning to get DIY underway but realistically, it might be worthwhile taking a rain check if you're not 100% confident.


All in all, it might be worth getting the experts in rather than attempting any major DIY projects this year. Though if you are still keen to attempt some home improvements, it might be worth checking your home insurance policy to see what's covered. Just in case things don't quite go to plan.

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About the author

James Cooper is a respected industry leader with over 10 years' experience in the home and property insurance sector. He works across a broad range of insurance product and policy development and delivery, including product development; customer sales and marketing; and P&L accountability.