All our branches are now open. Health and safety remains our main priority, and in line with government’s advice, a number of strict measures have been put in place to protect our staff and customers

DIY ideas: The most searched DIY questions in lockdown

DIY ideas: The most searched DIY questions in lockdown

As well as baking banana bread and buying home gym equipment, the coronavirus lockdown also sparked a huge number of Google searches on DIY projects.

Rather than sit around at home, it seems the British public saw lockdown as an opportunity to take on lingering DIY jobs or to learn a new skill.

We’ve analysed Google search data to reveal the most searched-for DIY questions during the lockdown and here are the results…

 

DIY garden ideas: The most searched-for ‘how to’ questions during lockdown

With the lockdown seeing the vast majority of us having to stay at home, outdoor space became even more important.

Indeed, a Rightmove survey in June revealed 63% of buyers were prioritising garden space when searching for their next home, such is the change in buyer mindset post-lockdown.

So, the huge increase in demand for online information on laying patios (124%), decking (174%) and building pergolas (238%) was potentially from homeowners looking to add value to their properties before selling in the future, as much as creating a nice garden space for their own use.

Rank

Search term

Searches: May 2019

Searches: May 2020

% Increase

Most searched for by…

1

how to lay a patio

12100

27100

124%

Bristol

2

how to lay decking

5400

14800

174%

Bristol

3

how to build a shed

4400

12100

175%

Norwich

4

how to build a pergola

2400

8100

238%

Bristol

5

how to level a garden

2900

6600

128%

Plymouth

6

how to design a garden

1600

4400

175%

Bristol

7

how to felt a shed roof

1600

4400

175%

Norwich

8

how to build a fence

1300

3600

177%

Glasgow

9

how to clean decking

1900

3600

89%

Glasgow

10

how to sharpen garden shears

1300

3600

177%

Bristol

 

The most searched-for DIY plumbing questions during lockdown

Lockdown was the perfect opportunity to tackle some of those niggling DIY jobs that we all try to put off.

So, the huge rise in Google searches for unblocking sinks (83%), fixing dripping taps (83%) and unblocking drains (89%) should perhaps come as no surprise.

Interestingly, Bristol and Norwich dominated the search locations, perhaps suggesting that homeowners in those locations had put off those jobs more than most…

Rank

Search term

Searches: May 2019

Searches: May 2020

% Increase

Most searched for by…

1

how to unblock a toilet

12100

14800

22%

Bristol

2

how to unblock a sink

5400

9900

83%

Bristol

3

how to bleed a radiator

6600

6600

0%

Belfast

4

how to fix a dripping tap

2400

4400

83%

Belfast

5

how to remove a radiator

2900

4400

52%

Bristol

6

how to change a tap washer

2400

3600

50%

Plymouth

7

how to fix a leaking tap

1600

3600

125%

Norwich

8

how to unblock a drain

1900

3600

89%

Norwich

9

how to unblock a drain outside

1900

2900

53%

Norwich

10

how to change a tap

720

1300

81%

Norwich

 

DIY ideas for the home: The most searched-for decorating questions

As well as garden revamps and exterior spruce-ups, lockdown also saw a large rise in searches for internal decorating tips as homeowners took the opportunity to give their properties a fresh lease of life.

How to wallpaper was one of the most searched-for DIY decorating tasks, with a 125% increase in May compared with the previous year.

And with painting high on most people’s lists of tasks, there was also a 313% increase in searches for information on cleaning paint brushes and a 125% rise in demand for tips on getting paint off clothing.

Rank

Search term

Searches: May 2019

Searches: May 2020

% Increase

Most searched for by…

1

how to measure curtains

9900

18100

83%

Bristol

2

how to lay laminate flooring

5400

9900

83%

Bristol

3

how to wallpaper

4400

9900

125%

Newcastle

4

how to paint a room

3600

8100

125%

Glasgow

5

how to clean paint brushes

1600

6600

313%

Norwich

6

how to get paint out of clothes

2400

5400

125%

Norwich

7

how to grout tiles

2900

5400

86%

Bristol

8

how to hang wallpaper

2400

5400

125%

Norwich

9

how to remove wallpaper

2400

5400

125%

Liverpool

10

how to hang a door

2900

4400

52%

Bristol

 

The most searched-for electrical questions

Rises in online questions about electrics also stood out, including reading gas (50%) and electric meters (52%) as people perhaps tried to ensure their utility bills were more accurate during the lockdown period, which hit many hard financially.

Rank

Search term

Searches: May 2019

Searches: May 2020

% Increase

Most searched for by…

1

how to read a smart meter

5400

8100

50%

Newcastle

2

how to wire a plug

4400

8100

84%

Norwich

3

how to wire a light switch

2400

5400

125%

Bristol

4

how to read electric meter

2900

4400

52%

Newcastle

5

how to read gas meter

2400

3600

50%

Plymouth

6

how to change a light fitting

720

1600

122%

Norwich

7

how to solder wires

720

1000

39%

Norwich

8

how to wire a fused spur

170

480

182%

Plymouth

9

how to wire a junction box

170

480

182%

Southampton

10

how to wire a lighting circuit

320

480

50%

Norwich

 

The biggest DIY trends during lockdown

Pizzas and a home bar – what’s not to love?

As well as a huge increase in plant-related searches (174% for flowers, 173% for plants and 173% for house plants) for a bit of lockdown tranquillity, searches on pizza ovens (397%) and how to build them (247%) soared.

However, the biggest DIY trend search increase was for DIY garden bars, which grew by a massive 1025% and was most searched-for in Liverpool.

Rank

Search term

Searches: May 2019

Searches: May 2020

% Increase

Most searched for by…

1

flowers

201000

550000

174%

Bristol

2

pizza oven

49500

246000

397%

Bristol

3

plants

60500

165000

173%

Norwich

4

house plants

33100

90500

173%

Bristol

5

herbs

22200

60500

173%

Bristol

6

treehouse

27100

60500

123%

Bristol

7

upcycle furniture

6600

9900

50%

Liverpool

8

diy fire pit

1600

8100

406%

Belfast

9

how to build a pizza oven

1900

6600

247%

Bristol

10

diy garden bar

480

5400

1025%

Liverpool

 

The biggest lockdown DIY search increases

With more and more people working from home during the lockdown period, it was no surprise to see Google searches on making a home office rise by 800%.

Home cinema searches also increased by 550%, alongside hot tubs (319%) as homeowners looked to keep themselves entertained during the shutdown.

Rank

Search term

Searches: May 2019

Searches: May 2020

% Increase

Most searched for in…

1

how to make a home office

10

90

800%

Manchester

2

how to make a blanket fort

140

1000

614%

Norwich

3

how to make a home cinema

40

260

550%

Newcastle

4

diy desk

480

2400

400%

Norwich

5

how to make a projector

320

1600

400%

Norwich

6

pizza oven

49500

246000

397%

Newcastle

7

diy home office

40

170

325%

Southampton

8

how to build a hot tub

210

880

319%

Norwich

9

how to clean paint brushes

1600

6600

313%

Norwich

10

how to build a pergola

2400

8100

238%

Bristol

 

Further reading…

The property market has bounced back well since coronavirus restrictions were lifted during the summer – but is now a good time to buy a house? The stamp duty holiday has certainly been a boost for buyers and you can find out exactly how it could affect you here.

Methodology:We used Google Keyword Planner to pull the search volume for all DIY-related searches across five different categories. We then took the May 2019 volume as well as the May 2020 volume and worked out the increase or decrease to give us our percentages. For the regional data, we pulled the individual search volumes for our top 10 DIY terms for each category across the 18 biggest cities in the UK. We divided these numbers by the population of those cities in order to find who was searching for those terms the most per capita, which gave us our regional rankings.