More than half of Brits are adopting a ‘make do and mend’ mindset

More than half of Brits are adopting a ‘make do and mend’ mindset – with Gen-Z leading the way in ditching engineers to fix their own household appliances.

A survey of 2,000 UK adults found a growing number of people are saving time and money by having a go themselves instead of calling out tradespeople or taking broken goods to the tip.

And the growth of FIY – Fix It Yourself – is coming from the younger generation, with almost three in five (58 per cent) of 18 to 24-year-olds saying they have turned their hand at repairing everyday household appliances in the past year.

As well as being spurred on by the pandemic, this age group is motivated by a desire to be more environmentally friendly (40 per cent) and for their own satisfaction (40 per cent).

People are also increasingly taking on home appliance repairs to save money (47 per cent) and time (44 per cent).

The research was carried out by spare parts retailer eSpares, which has seen a surge in demand over the last 12 months, with website traffic up 86 per cent as Brits avoided shops.

Andrew Sharp, CEO of CDSL Group, which owns eSpares, said: “The FIY trend has seen a major boom over the past year through lockdowns and shows no signs of abating.

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“From installing new filters in the cooker hood to replacing an oven door seal, people have realised just how easy repairs can be – and the satisfaction that comes with being able to fix things yourself.”

More than half (51 per cent) of 18 to 24-year-olds have used YouTube tutorials as their source for fixing electrical goods, while 42 per cent say they don’t need to rely on their parents as much for advice on home repairs.

With global e-waste monitor reporting that 1,598 kilotons of electrical waste went to landfill in the UK – the second worst in the world per capita – two in five 18 to 24-year-olds say they want to limit the environmental impact when a simple FIY job would suffice, the highest of any age group surveyed.

When looking at the nation’s most repaired items, vacuum cleaners (39 per cent) topped the list, followed by lawnmowers (25 per cent) and cookers (24 per cent).

Internal data from eSpares revealed a similar picture, with vacuum power packs and fan oven spare parts all appearing in the top ten selling items of the last 18 months.

On average, those surveyed estimate they have saved £129 by fixing their own appliances – while 18 to 24 year olds estimate saving £193.

And the FIY trend is set to stay, with more than a third (37 per cent) of people saying they will be taking on their own appliance repairs in the future after lockdown.

Andrew Sharp added: “It might seem daunting at first but there are so many tutorials easily accessible through YouTube and guides available online to help people fix and maintain their appliances, so they last longer. We expect this trend to continue growing.”

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eSpares shares its top five tips for first-time and existing FIY-ers:

  1. Research – Before you start any kind of repairs, be sure you know what you’re doing. Always read the instructions thoroughly to make sure you understand what the steps are. If you’re fixing an appliance, research online what the possible faults so you know what you’re looking for.
  2. YouTube is your best friend – The Advice Centre on eSpares has over 700 YouTube tutorials that provide step-by-step advice from the experts on diagnosing, fixing and maintaining all your household appliances. With a simple search online, you’re almost certainly going to find a quick solution to all manner of problems around the home.
  3. Regular maintenance is an easy way to save money – By tackling limescale on your kitchen appliances and cleaning the filters on your vacuum cleaners and dishwasher once a month, you can save money in the long run as the products will work far more efficiently.
  4. Replenish your toolbox – There’s not much worse than being ready to start a FIY project and realising you don’t have the right tools. Every toolbox should include screwdrivers with a comprehensive set of heads, a multimeter to identify the faulty apart of your appliance, Allen keys in a range of sizes, safety gloves, a small torch and pliers. Vaseline and clear nail polish are also great for solving all sorts of conundrums from lubricating pressure wash seals to securing a loose screw.
  5. Say no to new – As well as saving money, time and effort, you’ll also be learning a new skill and doing your bit for the environment by repairing instead of replacing. For extra support you can find loads of online social communities where you can meet other like-minded fixers.

For more tips and advice on appliance repairs visit: https://www.espares.co.uk

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