AA Home Emergency Response

AA Home Emergency Response

November 17, 2011 14:26 ET

DIY Skills to Be 'Extinct' by 2048

In the 70s Three Quarters of Men Learnt DIY Skills from Their Fathers-Now It's Just 44%

A Mere One in Five Men Predicted to Be DIY Literate by 2030

'Noughties' Metro-Sexual Man Being Replaced by the New Generation Techno-Sexual

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 17, 2011) - A new generation of 'techno-sexual' men is to blame for the demise in basic home maintenance and DIY skills, with men preferring to nurture their technological prowess rather than learn to fix a dripping tap, according to a new study for AA Home Emergency Response.

The researchers found that in the 1970s 71 per cent of men learnt DIY and home maintenance skills from their fathers, but by 1990 this had fallen to 67 per cent. The boom in technology in the 1990s saw the interest in learning DIY wane even further, dwindling to the current level of 44 per cent.

The AA has predicted that based on the current rate of decline, by 2030 just one in five men will receive basic DIY knowledge from their father. If the trends continues, home maintenance skills could be on the road to 'extinction' by as early as 2048, resulting in a nation of 'no can do' homeowners.

When men were questioned about the last time they faced a DIY challenge around the house, a stark difference appeared between the generations:

  • 55% of under 35s said they were able to do the job themselves
  • 32% of under 25s said they were able to do the job themselves
  • 73% of 55 to 65 year olds were able to do the job themselves

As well as carrying out their own home repairs, fathers are seeing their offspring take advantage of their expertise – 27 per cent of under 25s called in dad to solve their latest DIY problem. However, members of the younger generation seem happy to let dad do the work, without actually picking up some tips themselves.

The AA research found that only one third of men (34%) actually feel confident in their ability to carry out the majority of DIY, repairs and maintenance around the home. Over 65s are most likely to describe themselves as very handy and able to carry out relatively difficult jobs around the home whilst the under 25s are least likely to say they are adept at home repairs (21%).

Tom Stringer, Head of Home Rescue for the AA, said: "When we look at skills and knowledge, the 21st century man is keener to show his manliness through his ability to grasp technology than a power tool. We have known for some time that DIY and home maintenance skills are on the wane and that if people aren't learning skills from their fathers this will only get worse. Increasingly people need someone they can trust to sort out problems around the home and this is exactly why we launched the AA Home Emergency Response service."

While DIY skills are being neglected, the AA found that men increasingly view technology as essential to their masculinity, resulting in the rise of a new generation of 'techno-sexual' men. The researchers questioned men about the practical skills and abilities that make them feel masculine. Being knowledgeable about technology was the most important quality for men to feel masculine, whereas DIY skills were fourth behind being successful in their chosen career and being a competent driver.

The AA is keen to hear customers' own stories as to whether they have or are, a 'man that can' or a 'man that can't'. Stories and pictures can be posted at http://zone.theaa.com/clubs/browse and there will be a £500 prize for the best or worst example plus your own AA utility belt to help with those jobs around the house! Full terms and conditions can be found on the website.

The research was carried out for the AA Home Emergency Response service by ICM. It was carried out in September and December 2010 amongst a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults.

About AA Home Emergency Response

AA Home Emergency Response cover provides a network of approved tradesmen available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are no call-out charges or policy excesses and for work carried out under the policy, parts and labour are guaranteed. Cover is available to both existing AA members and non members.

Customers wishing to find out more information should visit:

www.theaa.com/home-emergency or call 0800 107 1031.

Contact Information

  • Media Enquiries:
    AA Press Office
    Sue Beeson
    01256 492874

    Citigate Dewe Rogerson
    Brandon Stockwell
    020 7638 9571 or 07768 747907