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How many Brits buy household tools and never use them?

diy tools

Do you fancy yourself as a DIY expert? Feel like you can turn your hand to the jobs that need doing around the house? If that’s the case, you’re certainly not alone – especially considering the events of 2020. With nationwide lockdown and limited opportunities for social contact, the UK’s population has been largely confined to the home and many have been using the time wisely, it seems.

Recent figures revealed that spending on DIY and home improvements has risen, as people start tackling the tasks they’ve been putting off for weeks, months or even years. However, despite the spike in DIY activity, there are still plenty of people out there who wouldn’t know a hammer from a hacksaw – even if they have both stored away in some dusty corner of the shed.

So, just how many Brits never use their tools? To find out, Burton Roofing, specialists in roofing solutions and VELUX products, conducted a survey of 2,000 people. Below you can find a rundown of some of the stand-out results.

Almost £2 billion of tools left on the shelf

The survey revealed that 10% of Brits have never used their household tools. Instead, their kit is left tucked away in the tool box, gathering dust down in the cellar or on an unloved shelf. To give you an idea, that’s £1.97 billion worth of equipment. Meanwhile, more than one-third (37%) say they only use theirs every few months. Still, it’s nice to know the tools are there, should you ever need them!

Measuring up against the rest

As for the most common pieces of equipment, the measuring tape came out as the DIY tool that can be found in the largest proportion of homes, at 68%. The hammer (66%) and screwdriver (64%) were not far behind, although less than half (46%) of the respondents said they owned a spirit level. There must be some very wonky shelves around the UK!

Screwdrivers, spanners and spending habits

Although there’s almost £2 billion worth of tools sat going unused, that number is dwarfed by the total value of the UK’s DIY spend – around £19.7 billion. That works out at an average of £371.30 on household tools, which, if you’re not going to use them, might be better put towards a family holiday!

Isolation DIY goes big in Bristol

The survey revealed that nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents had taken on more DIY tasks during lockdown. Residents in Bristol proved the most enthusiastic, with 80% saying they had turned their hand to home improvements. Those in Belfast (72.7%) were not far behind, but only a third of those living in Southampton dug out the tool box to get things done.