DIY Dilemmas Index
Getting your DIY on can be a lot of fun, helping you learn handy new skills across lots of different areas. From basic tasks like painting, decorating and plumbing, to more complex projects like building your own wetroom or installing underfloor heating. Taking on new projects can be self-rewarding, making you feel happy and accomplished.
But what happens next if something goes wrong?
We’ve taken a look at Google searches (from the past year), YouTube views and TikTok data to find out which DIY dilemmas are most commonly faced by homeowners, and compiled a handy list of tips to help you stay safe when you’re working on your next project!
The biggest DIY dilemmas
1 - How To Lay Vinyl Flooring
DIY dilemma score: 8.70/10
Taking the top spot as the biggest DIY dilemma is how to lay vinyl flooring, scoring 8.70 out of 10. Laying vinyl flooring can be difficult to do yourself as it requires a lot of planning and precision to achieve the look you want. This intricate DIY task ranks high thanks to its number of TikTok views and ranks in the top 10 for Google searches too.
2 - How To Paint A Wall
DIY dilemma score: 8.05/10
Repainting your walls not only adds a splash of colour and a more personal touch to a space, but it can also help prevent wear and tear and protect your rooms from moisture damage. Doing it yourself, rather than hiring a painter and decorator could also save you an average of £200 a day. It ranks as the second biggest dilemma on the list, ranking in the top five for Google searches and the top 10 for TikTok views.
3 - How To Install Underfloor Heating
DIY dilemma score: 6.53/10
Next up is installing underfloor heating, with renovators searching for answers on how to install this effective heating system themselves, giving it a score of 6.53 out of 10. Having underfloor heating professionally installed can be costly, and doing it yourself could save you up to £8,000 on average. It ranks just outside of the top 5 for TikTok views and is in the top 15 for Google searches, taking it to third place.
The most searched DIY dilemmas
1 - How To Plaster A Wall
57,000 Google Searches
By far the most searched question from would-be renovators is “how to plaster a wall”, racking up nearly 60,000 searches over the past 12 months. Plastering can be tricky and time-consuming to learn, but once mastered is a very valuable skill for DIY enthusiasts and could save you an average of £225 a day if you don’t want to hire a professional.
2 - How To Remove Radiators
35,700 Google Searches
When you’re redecorating, especially when it comes to wallpapering, painting, and plastering, you don’t want to leave any areas untouched, and this is where the next dilemma arises. Searches on how to remove radiators take second place with 35,700 over the last 12 months. Removing the radiator yourself could also save you from hiring a plumber to do it, which could set you back as much as £325.
3 - How To Hang A Door
33,400 Google Searches
Taking off doors so you can easily move cumbersome materials for your DIY project seems like the easiest part of a renovation. For many DIY enthusiasts, the dilemma is how to hang it properly once you’re done, as this requires a little carpentry knowledge, and could save you as much as £225 if you don’t want a carpenter to do it for you. This dilemma ranks third with 33,400 Google searches over the last 12 months.
The most viewed DIY dilemmas on TikTok
1 - How To Remodel A Bathroom
652.3 Million views
Remodelling a bathroom can increase the value of your home, although trusting it with a team of professionals could set you back around £5,000. For many would-be home renovators, it can be difficult to know where to start with such a big project, from choosing a new shower and toilet to installing heated towel rails. Luckily TikTok creators provide plenty of guidance and inspiration as the topic has more than 650 million views.
2 - How To Remodel A Kitchen
545.5 Million views
As many people consider the kitchen the heart of the home, updating the space to suit their needs comes as a priority for many homeowners looking to renovate their properties. Unfortunately, professional kitchen renovations can cost anywhere between £10,000 to £25,000. Up next is kitchen remodelling, with the dilemma garnering more than 545 million views on the platform.
3 - How To Lay Vinyl Flooring
132.7 Million views
Laying vinyl flooring takes third place, with the views for the topic numbering over 132 million. Laying vinyl flooring is a relatively easy project for first-time DIYers, as long as the surface is flat and clean, although TikTokers offer plenty of advice on fitting it.
The most searched DIY dilemmas on YouTube
1 - How To Tile A Bathroom Wall
Tiling your own bathroom walls can be a daunting prospect if you’re new to DIY, as it requires some time to master the skills needed. It’s the most popular search for YouTube videos with more than 1600 searches looking for advice and tutorials on the subject. Which comes as no surprise as hiring a professional tiler could set you back an average of £225 a day.
2 - How To Hang A Door
Up next is “how to hang a door” with 900 searches looking for advice for this dilemma. Hanging a door can be a lot more complicated than placing it on its hinges, and often involves measuring the door precisely and altering its size to make them fit perfectly.
3 - How To Paint A Wall
Taking third place is one of the most common DIY tasks, with 800 YouTube searches for tips on “how to paint a wall”. Videos on the subject offer handy tips that beginners might not consider before they start their project, helping them to achieve the perfect result.
The biggest home maintenance dilemmas
Now that we’ve taken a look at the biggest questions people have about renovating their homes, let’s dive into some of the biggest issues people face when it comes to home maintenance.
1 - Black mould
Home maintenance dilemma score: 9.52/10
This common household problem thrives in damp areas with a lack of ventilation like bathrooms and can be easily prevented with proper maintenance. Black mould takes the top spot thanks to its high ranking for Google searches over the last 12 months and total TikTok views for the dilemma.
2 - Leaking tap, clogged sink
Home maintenance dilemma score: 8.87/10
Up next are leaking taps, taking second place with a DIY dilemma score of 8.91/10. This problem ranks high thanks to its number of Google searches, ranking first for the factor. It also ranks in the top 10 for TikTok views.
Sharing second place are clogged sinks. This common and easy-to-fix DIY dilemma, often caused by food debris and soap residue takes fifth place for both Google searches and TikTok views giving it a score of 8.87/10.
3 - Low water pressure
Home maintenance dilemma score: 8.39/10
Low water pressure takes third place thanks to its high Google search volume taking third for the factor. The common DIY problem often caused by blockages in older pipes or a failing pump also ranks in the top 10 for TikTok views, giving it a total dilemma score of 8.39/10.
The most searched home maintenance dilemmas
1 - Leaking tap
133,800 Google searches
The most-searched household maintenance problem in the index is leaking taps, racking up more than 133,000 searches over the last 12 months. As well as being famously annoying, dripping taps can quickly become more than a nuisance, wasting both your water and costing you money until they’re fixed.
2 - Black mould
69,300 Google searches
Black mould takes second place for Google searches. This DIY problem can easily settle into warm and frequently damp areas of the home, like showers, toilets, kitchens and basements. Fortunately, you can easily get rid of black mould and prevent its return with proper ventilation.
3 - Low water pressure
43,400 Google searches
Taking third place is low water pressure, with concerned homeowners searching for DIY solutions more than 43,000 times over the last year. Low water pressure can be caused by lots of things, the worst-case scenario being leaking water pipes, or more commonly, clogged drainage pipes and failing pumps.
Safe to practice DIY tips
Despite how tempting, quick and easy some DIY fixes can seem, they often carry hidden dangers. Without proper precautions, they could end up doing serious damage to your health or create more problems around the house that only a professional can fix.
With this in mind, here are some tips on practising DIY safely.
Keeping a first aid kit handy is one of the most important safety tips when carrying out your own DIY projects. So make sure you have all the basic things you might need close at hand before starting any DIY project.
Make sure you’re wearing the right clothing. Taking off jewellery and watches, and avoiding wearing loose-fitting clothing can help prevent them from getting snagged in moving parts or power tools.
When using power tools, you should invest in the proper protective equipment, including safety goggles, dust masks, gloves and hearing protection when appropriate.
If you’re working on a project inside, make sure your space is well-ventilated when painting or sanding. Opening windows can help prevent fumes and dust from building up, which could damage your health if inhaled for too long, as well as create a mess that you have to clean up later!
Lighting is another key safety tip. If you can’t see what you’re doing, you’re more likely to hurt yourself, so work with a bright overhead light in your workspace where possible. It’s also a good idea to have a light focused on your task too.
When working with shiny new tools it’s tempting to start the job at hand immediately. It may seem obvious and boring, but it’s best to read the instructions and understand how your tool works before you start, as not every model is built the same.
If you’re working with others, being aware of your surroundings is very important for everyone’s safety. Make sure all children and pets are kept away from the area you’re working on as they can distract you from your project. And, make sure to turn off any power tools at the socket before you attempt to make any adjustments to them, and never leave them unattended.
When to get in an expert
Tackling a home renovation project can be extremely rewarding, not just saving you money but also learning new skills you can use in future projects. However, sometimes it’s better to leave the more complicated and time-consuming tasks in the hands of experts. Whatever the size of your project, you’ll need to make the decision between hiring an expert or doing it yourself.
Here is some expert advice to help you decide.
If you’re planning on selling your home soon, you want it to be in the best condition and amateur-looking DIY renovations and repairs could be off-putting for prospective buyers. This could make them wonder if your home has other issues. In this case, hire a professional to carry out the renovations or repairs to keep your home looking perfect.
If making a mistake on a project could have dire consequences and make your home unsafe, like faulty plumbing or poor electrical work, call in an expert to handle it. Professionals will have insurance in case anything goes wrong, protecting you as the homeowner from spending your own cash to fix the problem.
If you think your time could be better spent doing something else, call in an expert. Although rewarding, learning the skills you need to renovate and maintain your home is very time-consuming to practice and perfect and could interfere with other more important commitments.
If you’re planning on taking on multiple projects at the same time, consider hiring a professional instead. While you might have experience renovating a kitchen or tiling a bathroom or wetroom, taking on multiple projects can be stressful. The experts generally have experience managing the many moving parts of a complex renovation project, making the project a lot more efficient.
Beginning with a list of commonly searched DIY problems taken from SEMRush and list articles, we analysed each one on the following factors. We then gave each DIY problem a normalised score out of ten for both factors, before taking an average across each of these scores to reach our final overall score out of ten.
For similar keywords, such as “peeling paint” and “flaking paint” the search volumes were combined to reach the total.
Google searches: the total number of Google searches for DIY issues from August 2021 to July 2022.
Tiktok views: the total number of TikTok views for DIY-related hashtags such as #cloggeddrain and #lowwaterpressure.
Youtube searches: The total number of Youtube searches for each keyword according to Ahrefs.