Enrolment figures from B&Q's skills classes suggest that more and more women are tackling DIY jobs.
The retailer has seen a dramatic rise in the number of females enrolling on its You Can Do It classes - over 400% in the last year. The women are learning a range of skills from hanging wallpaper and changing a radiator to laying flooring. In the last two years 23,000 women and girls have signed up for the classes.
Launched in October 2010, there are now 15 B&Q You Can Do It centres across the UK, and last year the company introduced Kids Can Do It workshops. It also recruited Kirstie Allsopp as its celebrity ambassador to show women that DIY is easy when you know how.
The top You Can Do It workshops taken by women are, first, plastering, followed by wall tiling, changing a tap, wall fixings and wallpaper hanging.
Following the success of the classes, B&Q has conducted a survey of 2,000 British women which reveals that seven in 10 are now happy to get on with a project around the home. More than one in five UK households are single women, and the main reason more women are taking up DIY is, according to the research, that it is the only way they can get anything done. A similar number (38%) said it was because they had just bought a house or flat.
B&Q says 82% of women would rather paint a room than leave it to a partner or relation, and 77% prefer to strip a room of wallpaper themselves to relying on someone else. Seventy-three per cent of women reckon they are just as competent at basic DIY tasks as a man.
Each month, half of all women now spend between one and five hours a week doing DIY, says B&Q, while a fifth of women do between six and 10 hours of DIY a week.
B&Q marketing director Katherine Paterson said: "Our findings show that DIY is no longer just a man's game. More women are recognising that with the right skills anyone can try their hand at tiling, putting up a shelf or taking on a bigger refurbishment project."