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Choice or necessity? A review of the role of DIY in tackling housing repair and maintenance

Construction Management and Economics

Author: Davidson, Maggie, Leather, Philip
Type: Journal Article
Year: 2000


Do-it-yourself (DIY) is a staple element of the spare time activities of many households, but little is known about the extent to which basic repair work is carried out through DIY and about the quality of this work. Through secondary analyses of UK government data (English House Condition Survey and Family Expenditure Survey), this paper examines the scale of DIY work by owner-occupiers, how work is organized, the interrelationship of DIY work, the use of unpaid help, and the use of contractors. It considers the types of work carried out, the characteristics of those who tackle DIY or use unpaid help, the dwelling types most likely to experience DIY work, and the motivations of and constraints on those home-owners who do it. The paper concludes with a discussion on the policy implications of these findings for government and the building industry. Although most DIY work is cosmetic and does not deal with basic repair and maintenance, the sheer scale of DIY ensures that it makes a contribution to improving housing conditions. The provision of more advice, information and education by government, local authorities and the private sector could ensure that more DIY work is of better quality and that home owners give priority to essential repairs whether or not they tackle these themselves.

Further Details

Publish Dates: 2000/10/01
Full Title: Construction Management and Economics
Pages: 747-756
Volume: 18
Issue: 7
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN/ISSN: 0144-6193
Electronic Resource Number: 10.1080/014461900433032
Access Date: 2013/10/16
Reads: 84