Brits vs DIY

What are the DIY tasks we struggle with the most?

Some people jump straight into DIY, trusting their instincts and their ability to get the job done. But for those of us who aren’t quite so confident about plumbing, plastering and painting, going online can be a lifesaver.

The internet is full of DIY tips, tricks and how-to guides, helping even the least experienced among us have a go at fixing things up around the house.

But what are the DIY tasks that Brits struggle with the most? We’ve analysed the number of searches on Google and YouTube for some of the most common DIY tasks to find out

The top 3 most-searched DIY Questions

1. How to bleed a radiator? - 210,000 searches

Annual Google searches - 192,000
Annual YouTube searches - 18,000
By far the most common Brit DIY query is ‘how to bleed a radiator’, with 192,000 Google searches a year and 18,000 on YouTube. Thankfully, there are loads of helpful step-by-step guides and videos on hand for the next time your radiators go cold!

2. How to read a smart meter? - 107,280 searches

Annual Google searches - 106,800
Annual YouTube searches - 480
Although you don’t actually need to take readings from a smart meter, many people still want to keep an eye on their energy use. But it’s clearly something many of us struggle with, with over 100,000 searches for ‘how to read a smart meter?’.
The government aims for energy suppliers to have smart meters in 85% of homes by 2024. If you’re not saving money by having one installed yet, you can read more in our guide to smart meters.

3. How to clean washing machine? - 87,000 searches

Annual Google searches - 82,800
Annual YouTube searches - 4,200
If you start to notice a strange odour coming from your washing machine, the good news is that it probably isn’t your clothes – but the bad news is that it’s time to give it a clean. Thankfully, there are plenty of guides out there to help you get rid of that mould and mildew.

Big building jobs

Bleeding a radiator is one thing, but if you’re carrying out any major building work, you need to let your home insurer know. If you don’t, it could invalidate your policy. You don’t need to worry about cosmetic jobs, but this turn into something of a grey area so you might want to err on the side of caution and let them know.

The 20 most-searched DIY questions overall


The most-searched general DIY questions

Following ‘how to read a smart meter’ (107,280 searches) some of the most common general DIY queries included ‘how to hang a door’ (62,400) and ‘how to wire a light switch’ (44,400).

The most searched plumbing and heating questions

Plumbing and heating issues see Brits turning to Google and YouTube, with many seeking tips on how to unblock their toilets (65,880 searches) and sinks (53,400) without having to call out a plumber.

The most searched decorating questions

It might seem easy enough to give a room a lick of paint or hang some new wallpaper, but there are still thousands of Brits turning to the web for decorating advice. Queries include ‘How to plaster a wall?’ (70,800 searches) and ‘How to wallpaper?’ (67,200).

The most-searched kitchen and bathroom questions

Common kitchen and bathroom DIY questions range from the simple (‘how to clean washing machine?’) to far bigger jobs (‘how to fit a kitchen?’).

Brought to you by our home insurance experts.


For each question, we took average monthly searches for both Google and YouTube and multiplied these by 12 to give estimated annual searches.
All search volumes correct as of April 2020.