Searches for garden DIY projects increase by 1241% due to lockdown

DIY SearchesWith more than two-thirds of people delaying a DIY project last year due to restricted time, Kantar states that 40% of us are planning to get these jobs done during the COVID-19 lockdown. If you’re looking to get started on a task that you’ve been putting off for months, this is the perfect time to do it. The “can’t move, improve” motto seems to have been sung loudly with almost half of the population at the start of May. Stats from Rare Consulting show that between May 4th-11th, 74% of the population took part in some sort of home management and DIY activity. Forty one percent cleaned every day, whilst 12% of those living in urban areas were doing DIY daily too.

Using Google Search Trends data, we have found that the search intent for DIY information has risen dramatically over the past 2-3 months. The top and bottom five areas are listed below. It may be surprising to see capital cities London and Edinburgh on the list of residents least likely to search for DIY; could this be due to fewer homeowners in these areas?

5 areas searching for DIY queries the most

  1. Stoke-on-Trent
  2. Northampton
  3. Liverpool
  4. Sheffield
  5. Bristol

5 areas searching for DIY queries the least

  1. Wythenshawe
  2. London
  3. Glasgow
  4. Halesowen
  5. Edinburgh

What are people doing
Garden DIY projects are on the rise. The glorious weather brought to us in April has encouraged us to spend more time in our private outdoor space, due to parks and beer gardens being off limits. Search trends have proved the need for utilising our gardens during this time, with a huge average 1241% increase of garden DIY phrases being searched for on Google. These searches also show that people are more willing to use existing materials than buying things ready-made, with plenty of pallet-related phrases coming into the mix.

Garden DIY average monthly searches       DIY Garden Trends

Painting follows closely, with the phrase “how to paint a room” having 179% more searches in April 2020 when compared to April 2019. Adding bathroom shelves also seems to be a priority, with “bathroom shelves ideas” going from 1600 searches in April 2019, to 4400 in 2020.

Searches for bathroom shelves ideas        DIY Paint Trends

People seem to be focusing on areas of the house that might have been ignored before. Whilst the term ‘living room paint ideas’ has risen in popularity, with 6600 searches this April compared to last year’s 2400, it sees similar peaks from September - November yearly. However, bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms are getting more attention now than ever before. Are people less focused on the entertaining areas and rather the rooms they’ve been putting off?

The following phrases have seen huge peaks in April 2020 compared to 2019, which proves the urge to spruce up these areas of the home:

  • Bathroom paint - 14000 vs 49000
  • Kitchen paint - 9900 vs 33000
  • Bedroom paint ideas - 2400 vs 9900

And with a large number of people working from home, office trends have also peaked in the last few months:

  • Home office ideas - 2900 vs 14800
  • Desk ideas - 720 vs 2900
  • Small home office ideas - 390 vs 1900
  • Buy desk online - 50 vs 1600
  • Home office inspiration - 210 vs 1300


The urge to rewire and make electrical changes to our homes has also risen, especially outdoors. It looks like lots of hot tub purchases have been made, as well as Brits sprucing up their sheds for potential offices or man-caves.

  • Electrical cable - 3600 vs 6600
  • Outdoor electrical cable - 1000 vs 2400
  • Socket wiring - 880 vs 1900
  • Hot tub electrical - 110 vs 390
  • Running electric to shed - 260 vs 480


Finally, perhaps being inside and noticing that dripping tap is becoming too much for us! Terms around leaking taps have shot up, alongside other basic plumbing tasks.

  • How to fix a leaky tap - 1600 vs 4400
  • How to fix a dripping mixer tap - 70 vs 480
  • DIY drain unblocking - 140 vs 480
  • How to fix a leaking outside tap - 70 vs 260

BeginnerIf you’re thinking about using this time to start doing some home DIY, we’ve provided some important and helpful tips for beginners below. The most important thing to remember is safety first! Oxford Eye Hospital has recorded a rise in injuries and the need for eye operations. Just one week saw six “traumatised eyes” when it would usually only see one every 2-3 weeks. Consultants believe this is due to people doing DIY jobs without eye protection. You don’t want to sustain avoidable injuries in the process of sprucing up your home or garden, so it’s really important to follow our tips below and be prepared.

  1. Make sure you have the correct protective equipment for the job. Basic DIY protection includes gloves and goggles, with more complex jobs needing protective footwear and head-gear.
  2. Always turn off electrics - Safety comes first, and so turning off the electric is paramount. Turn off any plug sockets or, if there’s a chance of coming across any wires, turn off the whole house electrics from the main switch. Brush up on electricals and how your electric system works beforehand.
  3. Prevent paint drips and spillages - Glue a paper plate to the bottom of your paint tins to avoid any unwanted splodges.
  4. If you’re in the middle of a paint project, cling film your paint rollers to keep them moist. This saves you having to clean them properly so they don’t dry up. Secure in an air-tight bag and store in a dry place to ensure they’re kept as moist as possible.
  5. Putting decorations up on the wall? To make nails enter the wood smoothly, rub the tips of the nail with a dab of soap before hammering.
  6. If you’re using wood as part of a project, make sure it’s completely healthy and none of it has rotted. Rotten wood can break and cause injury. It’s also important to sand down wood before you use it to avoid splinters.
  7. Be prepared - Ensure you know exactly what each stage of your task entails and that you have all necessary equipment and materials. There’s nothing worse than a half finished DIY project!
  8. Know your limits - There is plenty a novice DIY’er can do at home, but some tasks are too big for beginners, so think clearly about what it involves before you start. Additionally, know when to stop if things become too tough and/or dangerous, and add it to the list of things to get sorted when restrictions are lifted.

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