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Only four in ten home improvement jobs are ‘successful’

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Only four in ten home improvement jobs carried out around the house can be hailed a ‘complete success’, a new study has shown. Researchers, who carried out a detailed study among 2,000 adults, found while millions of us happily wade into home improvement tasks, very few turn out the way we planned.

Paintwork with visible brush strokes, spills, stains and wonky shelves and picture frames are most common jobs to be bodged.

It also emerged as many as six in ten Brits admit they are ‘useless’ when it comes to home improvements.

And the quest for a perfect home appears to have pitfalls – with a nervous one in five men desperately trying to hide a bodged job from their other half.

A spokesman for the Command Brand from 3M, which commissioned the study, said:

“Despite being a nation that prides itself on being able to complete odd jobs around the house it appears we are somewhat lacking when it comes to home improvement skills.

“It can be all too easy to underestimate the difficulty of certain tasks and using particular tools.

“Traditional tools like the humble hammer and nails appear to create the most problems as accidentally making holes in the wrong place, drilling through pipes and putting up pictures and shelves that instantly fall down feature highly on the list of common home improvement mistakes.”

The study also found over a third of people have painted a room and immediately regretted the choice of colour – repainting almost straight away.

The most common bodge jobs also included missing bits while painting, spilling paint on the carpet and putting up laughably wonky shelves.

While attaching things upside down, going gung ho without using instructions and seeing things collapse almost instantly were also common mistakes made by us haphazard Brits.

And the results showed just 43% of home improvement jobs DON’T end in failure – meaning less than a fifty-fifty gamble each time homeowners turn to the tools.

Worse still – one in four people have injured themselves in some way when trying to fix up their house, with more than 75% of injuries being caused by drilling or hammering.

Given the true extent of Britain’s lack of home improvement skills it is perhaps no surprise that nearly a fifth of those polled wouldn’t even trust their partner to hang a picture.

An honest one in four women said their partner was very good at starting a new job around the house – but less good at actually getting it finished.

In fact, 45% of women get nervous when their partner attempts any sort of handiwork in the home.

The most common reasons for feeling uneasy were ‘because something usually goes wrong’ or because they thought it would most likely end in an argument.

Perhaps that’s summed up by the third of nervous ladies who said the definition between what they think looks good and what their partner considers a job well done is vastly different.

The Command Brand spokesman added:

“The best way to avoid the common pitfalls involved in home improvements is to ensure you surround yourself with tools, ideas and advice to make the job as easy and drama-free as possible.

“There are always options for making tricky jobs easy and a variety of short-cuts that those in the know can use to get the same results, without the hassle or risk of catastrophe.’”


1. Missed bits painting
2. Accidentally drilled holes in the wrong place
3. Spilling paint on the carpet
4. Failed to finish the job
5. Wonky shelves
6. Failed to follow instructions
7. Bought the wrong tools for the job
8. Pictures or shelves collapsed
9. Attached things upside down
10. Drilling through pipes