How to tackle home maintenance tasks yourself this winter

With people now spending more time at home than ever, homeowners and renters have been increasingly turning their sights to fixing up their properties themselves, with over half (58%) having attempted home maintenance this year.

However, 75% don’t believe they have mastered home maintenance skills yet, and a further 1 in 3 (33%) admit they ‘just can’t do’ basic home repair tasks, even though more and more people want to try it themselves.

This new research by British Gas, released to mark the launch of its Solved on Screen Live service, reveals that whilst home maintenance is a ‘priority task’ for almost a quarter (24%), lack of prior experience leaves one in seven households (14%) heading into winter with unfinished projects – despite the willingness for people to take-on basic tasks themselves.

For many, this lack in confidence comes from never actually learning the basics from a young age, with 24 being the average age at which those polled attempted their first home maintenance job. Only 12% were taught home maintenance at school, half (50%) of British homeowners and renters have attempted to teach themselves home repairs ‘out of necessity’ and over one in five (21%) don’t even try themselves and rely on professional to help.

For 33% of homeowners and renters nationwide, the top reason for putting off doing home maintenance is a concern about not having the right skills; although a further 22% say they find the idea of home maintenance ‘too daunting’, and 15% say that it ‘just doesn’t interest them’. As a result, almost two thirds (65%) admit to not knowing how to fix a leaking tap, a further two thirds (64%) are unable to repressurise their boiler and a quarter (24%) can’t read an energy meter.

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When seeking guidance, the most popular choice is online help with half (48%) of British homeowners and renters having turned to online video tutorials or live stream Q&As about home repairs tasks, with 13% crowd-sourcing advice and putting a shout out for help on their social media channels. Despite the world relying more than ever before on online help, it seems parents remain a trusted sounding board with one in three (31%) turning to their dads for help and one in 10 (9%) asking their mums.

To provide a handy option for those looking for guidance with home maintenance tasks, British Gas has introduced Solved on Screen Live, a free digital advice service. During these real-time online sessions, the brand’s expert engineers will be on-hand to help solve the public’s questions on common home maintenance problems. With topics covering all things heating and hot water related, the service aims to empower people to take charge of heating their homes and arm the nation with the knowledge and skills required to safely finish household jobs to keep things running smoothly.

Hosted on the British Gas YouTube channel, the service launches on Sunday 1st November at 11am, with the nation (non-customers included) invited to share their home maintenance dilemmas with the engineer for their top tips and tricks.

Andy Freeman, British Gas Head of Marketing, said: “Our research shows that home maintenance has been popular in 2020 and a priority task in many homes, but with winter on its way, we want to offer the opportunity for people to become more comfortable with those home maintenance tasks such as bleeding a radiator or checking their boiler pressure. With Solved on Screen Live we can now offer this advice live to people in the comfort of their homes with the knowledge of our expert engineers.

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“And for those issues that aren’t so simple, our engineers are available 24/7, 365 days a year to help solve whatever problems people face.”

For those looking for additional help with home maintenance, British Gas has produced a series of “Solved on Screen” videos, available on YouTube and Facebook, providing straightforward steps to ensure everyone has the skills they need to get the job done.

For more information on Solved on Screen Live, visit https://www.britishgas.co.uk/the-source/fix-it-yourself/solved-on-screen.html.