A right hammering for TV home makeover shows

Article date: 14 April 2003

It's enough to make Carol less than Smillie - Britain's DIYenthusiasts are becoming disillusioned with TV home improvementprogrammes.

In a hammer blow for the shows, 40% of people say they oftenfind what works on telly is a disaster at home, according to astudy of people's home improvement habits published by NorwichUnion today.*

The news comes as Britain prepares to go on a DIY bender thisEaster. The Norwich Union research says householders will spend £7billion doing an estimated 310 million hours of DIY this holidayperiod.

But they are most likely to pursue their own home improvementideas. According to the survey, a fifth of householders have atsome time attempted to copy a DIY idea from the telly.

But a good proportion claim to have lost patience with these"Changing Rooms" - style makeovers. The disillusioned fell into twogroups.

Undo it yourself
One in five found the ideas they loved on TV proved utterlyunsuitable in practice, saying: "It looked nice at first but itwasn't practical and I wanted to change it back".

Shelve it
A further 17% didn't even get that far, abandoning the task halfway through. They said: "It got too complicated and expensive and Ididn't finish the job".

In general, householders are wary of taking on the jobs "HandyAndy and co" knock off in half an hour's TV. Only one in tenconsidered them "easy to do" while just 5% described them as"safe".

Jill Willis, market development manager at Norwich Union, said:"We love our homes and our DIY shows but often find what's fun towatch is a nightmare to copy. Perhaps we should just trust our owninstincts rather than the ideas on DIY shows when we're planning tomake big changes to our homes.

"DIY brings risk and one of the real pitfalls enthusiasts faceis accidentally damaging their home or belongings when doing a DIYjob. Accidental damage cover on buildings and contents policies isrelatively inexpensive - not much for DIY peace of mind."

To help DIYers protect themselves and their homes this Easter,Norwich Union's top DIY tips for homeowners are:

  • Always read instructions carefully before starting anyjob
  • If you're using steps or a ladder make sure they're in goodcondition and never overstretch them
  • Always use protective gloves, glasses, masks and headgear, asappropriate and keep sharp tools safely covered when not inuse
  • Use the correct tools for the job
  • If you're hiring tools, ask for a demonstration or make sureyou fully understand how to safely use the equipment beforeleaving the shop
  • Take care with electricity and always use a circuit breaker onelectric tools for added safety
  • Be careful, Government figures show there are 99,000 injuriesevery year in DIY-related activities, of which 40,000 involveladders.**

For more details on Norwich Union insurance services, customersshould contact Norwich Union Direct on 0800 888 222 or theirinsurance broker. Further advice, information and special offersare available on Norwich Union's Home Doctor website atwww.norwichuniondirect.co.uk/homedoctor.


Media contacts:

Anick Purmessur or Sarah Turnbull at QBO Bell Pottinger on 0207861 2424 or Liz Kennett at Norwich Union Press Office on 08703 6668 63.

Notes to editors:

  • *Norwich Union commissioned research amongst 1,000 homeownerson 29-30 March 2003
  • **Office for National Statistics Spring 2001
  • Accidental Damage cover can be added to building or contentsinsurance policies
  • Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with a market shareof around 16% and is more than 1.5 times the size of its nearestrival. It is also the largest personal lines insurer
  • It has a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses. It insures:
    • one in five households
    • one in five motor vehicles
    • more than 700,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct
  • Norwich Union's news releases are available on the Aviva plcwebsite at www.aviva.com
  • A selection of images is available from the Norwich UnionNewscast site at www.newscast.co.uk
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality broadcast.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 68.

For all life & pensions media enquiries call 08703 66 6873
For all other media enquiries call 08703 66 68 68

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