The scariest DIY jobs revealed: drills and radiators frighten brits to the bone!

The scariest DIY jobs revealed: drills and radiators frighten brits to the bone!

Published: 28-10-2020

With Halloween days away, Worcester Bosch reveal which DIY jobs give Brits the creeps this spooky season – and Southerners come out far worse!

  • Using a drill to install fixtures or fittings deemed ‘scariest’ job at home, followed by topping up boiler pressure and bleeding radiators.
  • 42% of Brits scared of using a drill, whereas just 13% rank replacing light bulbs as a task that makes them nervous.
  • Half of those surveyed (50%) know how to top up boiler pressure, yet 40% are scared by the prospect of taking the task on.
  • Those in the South get scared much easier than Northerners:
    • 50% of Brighton residents most fearful of using power tools (50%) vs 29% of Geordies.
    • 63% of Southampton residents scared of topping up boiler pressure (63%), vs 21% of Glaswegians.
    • Londoners are the most scared region when it comes to painting, hanging artwork or gardening.
  • Under 24s are the most fearful of DIY, yet 25-34s are the most confident.

As Halloween draws closer, Worcester Bosch, the UK’s leading boiler manufacturer, has revealed which everyday DIY jobs ‘scare’ Brits the most. From building flat pack furniture to topping up boiler pressure, we reveal the household tasks that are found most frightful this Halloween!

It seems the mere thought of DIY is enough to give some Brits a fright, with almost half (45%) of the 1,000 homeowners surveyed confessing that they either do not look forward to completing tasks around the home or never complete DIY jobs.

A massive two-thirds (69%) of people said that they feel nervous before completing a task for the first time – regardless of what it is – and women fare worse with 76% nervous of first-time tasks compared to 62% of men. Our survey also found that 16-24-year olds were likely to be the most fearful when taking on a new task, whereas 25-34-year olds are marginally the most confident age group.

As for the worst culprits that strike fear into the hearts of Brits… these are the biggest three:

  1. Using a drill to install fixtures or fittings (43% scared to do, yet 63% know how to)
  2. Topping up boiler pressure (40% scared to do, yet 50% know how to)
  3. Bleeding radiators (27% scared to do, yet 69% know how to)

Building flat pack furniture (26%) and painting walls and ceilings (21%) also receive honourable mentions as the fourth and fifth scariest tasks, whilst replacing light bulbs, garden maintenance and stripping wallpaper respectively were all deemed the least frightening in our survey.  Just 13% of respondents found replacing light bulbs a ‘scary’ task, with Brighton residents the most likely to be spooked by it (21%).

With lockdowns increasing our time inside, over a third (38%) of those surveyed have also done more DIY since pre-COVID-19. However, as we move into chillier months, many will put off DIY, with more than half (54%) stating that they are guilty of avoiding household tasks in Autumn and Winter.

However, some of these tasks are far simpler than we think. Martyn Bridges, Director of Technical Communication and Product Management at Worcester Bosch, explains that one thing we shouldn’t fear is topping up boiler pressure, “Your boiler pressure is usually indicated on a dial by the boiler, with the optimum pressure usually between 1 and 1.5 when the system is cool. If your boiler has lost pressure, this is something you can quickly resolve yourself.  You can check your boiler user manual or watch our video on re-pressurising your heating system.” 

He also reveals that bleeding radiators, whilst sounding daunting, is perfectly normal: “Air can build up in your heating system over time, causing gurgling sounds, or the tops of your radiators feeling colder than you would expect. Bleeding the radiators can make sure your heating is working at full efficiency and keeping your house warm throughout. After bleeding your radiators check your boiler pressure as you may need to top that up if it has dropped below 1 bar.” 


Overall percentage of people ‘scared’

Most ‘scared’ region

Least ‘scared’ region

Using a drill to install fittings/fixtures


Brighton (50%)

Newcastle (29%)

Topping up boiler pressure


Southampton (63%)

Glasgow (21%)

Bleeding radiators


London (36%)

Nottingham (14%)

Building flat pack furniture


Plymouth and Manchester (33%)

Glasgow (16%)

Painting walls/ceilings


London (33%)

Nottingham (11%)

Hanging photos/paintings


London (26%)

Newcastle (6%)

Stripping wallpaper


London (28%)

Nottingham (6%)

Garden maintenance


London (21%)

Edinburgh (4%)

Replacing lightbulbs


Brighton (21%)

Edinburgh (2%)






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