Rochdale people top the list of 'DIY' enthusiasts

DIY skills are in danger of dying out as only a quarter of Greater Manchester residents, feel confident at DIY in their homes.

From painting and flooring to changing fuses and lightbulbs, it seems the rise in home inspiration and decorating hasn’t done much for our DIY skills across Greater Manchester – with 75% of Greater Manchester admitting they don’t have the skills or the tools to do DIY at home.

Research with over 500 consumers in Greater Manchester was conducted by Paddle, the app which connects homeowners with local tradespeople, and found that just over an eighth (14%) of those surveyed said they have time to do DIY themselves, with others relying on professional tradesmen or turning to partners and parents for help in the home.

Residents were asked to judge their competency at a range of DIY tasks including wallpapering, painting, changing a lightbulb and unclogging a sink. Residents of Rochdale were the most comfortable carrying out DIY tasks, followed by Oldham and Trafford inhabitants. At the bottom of the scale were those living in Manchester. The full rankings in terms of competence were:

1.    Rochdale – 71% 
2.    Oldham – 70%
3.    Trafford – 66%
4.    Bury – 65%
5.    Salford – 64%
6.    Tameside – 63%
7.    Bolton – 62%
8.    Stockport – 61%
9.    Wigan – 59%
10.    Manchester – 57%

Paddle also used the findings to highlight which DIY tasks each borough was worst at (as stated by consumers):

Manchester – Patching a hole in a wall
Wigan – Wallpapering
Bury – Laying flooring
Bolton – Gardening
Salford – Varnishing furniture
Stockport – Putting up fencing
Tameside – Building furniture
Trafford – Changing a lightbulb

The top two boroughs, Rochdale and Oldham, did not come bottom in any of the categories presented.

The study also found that the dreaded ‘life admin’ and DIY is often put on the back burner, with many of us preferring to spend our time off work just relaxing (54%), travelling abroad (40%) or shopping (38%). Inevitably the jobs must pile up though, as over a quarter of us (26%) admitted to taking time off work to get the household jobs done such as putting up shelves and changing lightbulbs. 

Commenting on the research, Manchester-born Mark Fraser, co-founder of Paddle, said: “The news is rife with stories about people now being unable to carry out basic DIY tasks but this isn’t always down to a lack of ability or tools. With people working longer hours and spending more time commuting, consumers now seem to be prioritising other activities instead of doing DIY. That’s why we set up Paddle, so that the life admin doesn’t pile up and we can help take the tasks off your hands. 

He added: “Thanks to Paddle, it’s never been quicker or easier to find quality tradespeople, so now your time can be spent doing things you actually want to do. In Greater Manchester, in particular, we could see huge potential to support those decorating and renovating their homes and fill the skills gap, as well as helping busy homeowners achieve their dream homes.” 

For more information on Paddle, and to sign up, visit:

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