Why you're not going to do DIY this weekend - but probably should

Does it matter if you don’t get round to it?

Closeup of assorted work tools on wood

The August Bank Holiday is traditionally a time for home maintenance and improvements, but a new study has revealed there's every chance we're going to find something else far more exciting to do this weekend - so those damp patches and blocked gutters are going to have to wait.

The study, by property management firm FirstPort, found that we put off household jobs for an average of almost 4 weeks. Four in ten people put jobs off for more than three months. Apparently the jobs we hate the most are clearing gutters, getting rid of damp or mould and cleaning windows. These are closely followed by plumbing, painting, and cleaning the carpets and floors.

All this procrastination is entirely understandable. After-all, on a sunny August day, who really wants to step out of the paddling pool, abandon the BBQ, leave their cold beer, and go up a ladder to scoop mushy leaves out of the guttering?

The study found that 32% of people don't feel they have the time for home maintenance, while 25% of people don't know what they're doing and one in ten are worried that they'll damage their home in the process.

However, putting things off is essentially pointless, because we do eventually get around to these jobs. The study also found we spend an average of 114 hours (the equivalent of seven weekends a year) and £1,840 a year on property maintenance.

The risk is that by leaving these jobs as long as we do, we end up doing lasting damage. Nigel Howell, CEO of FirstPort, said: "Whether you do it yourself, or get a professional in, the most important thing is to make sure it is dealt with properly and quickly, before something small becomes a much bigger issue, which could knock value off your home."

What can you do?

If you know you've been putting something off, you need to be honest with yourself as to why. If you just can't be bothered, then that's no excuse. If there's one job you hate more than any other, then schedule it for first thing in the morning over the Bank Holiday weekend. The chances are that by lunchtime you'll be finished, and can enjoy the rest of your time off guilt-free.

If you don't have the skills, then consider friends and family who are a dab hand at this sort of thing. Over the Bank Holiday you could even invite them over to show you what to do, and offer to cook them something on the BBQ as a thank you when you've finished.

If you don't know anyone with the skills, then it's worth hitting Youtube, and seeing what's available. You'll be astonished just how many useful DIY and home maintenance videos there are on there, so you can get the job done for nothing.

If the thought sends you into a panic - or you genuinely have no time at all to spare - then it's time to consider a professional. For some people, it's the only way the job is going to get done at all, and it's better to pay someone to avoid problems emerging, than to have to pay someone to put things right after you've neglected these jobs for too long.

Of course, if you're the kind of person who loves to get their hands dirty, this might be music to your ears. When you consider how much other people don't like doing household maintenance, you have to ask how much they'd pay you to do it for them.

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