Millennial dads’ DIY skills are slipping

Millennial dads are not as equipped to deal with a DIY emergency as older generations, according to a new survey. Apparently, youngsters simply don’t have the tools (literally) required or the skills to deal with any DIY jobs (rewire house, etc…) that might need doing around the home, and the idea that ‘a mans home is his castle’ has fallen somewhat out of vogue in the last few decades.

The survey, carried out by OnePoll on behalf of, surveyed 2,000 millennial dads and found that they are much less likely to take a crack at a DIY project than those dads that preceded them. Whether it’s giving your front room a lick of paint, fixing a leaky tap, or changing a fuse, we’re just not as handy, but why is this?

Why are millennial dads DIY skills slipping?


DIY skills



One of the big reasons is how much our economy has changed into one based on services, even more so than our parent’s generation. Platforms like our very own The List, allow us to book verified professional services in minutes to ensure that the job gets done correctly, and at a time of our choosing.

What’s more is that the technological advances of the modern home mean that a lot of what we use needs complex professional support. Advances in smart technology mean that complex machines are far more ubiquitous than they were ‘back in the day’, it’s much harder to install a Wi-Fi enabled smart locking mechanism than it is to install a standard lock, the former would need a much more specialised tool set to deal with.

This certainly helps to account for how just 68% of millennial dads own a hammer, compared to 93% of baby boomers.


essential DIY skills


If you need someone to give you a hand with the DIY in your house, or if you buck these trends and are a DIY expert yourself, why not try The List and find the best services and customers in your local area.


Cultural changes

Due to cultural changes over the last few decades, home making is no longer such an exclusively female dominated space. Social changes have meant that more women are working full time, and while the duty of care still largely (and unfairly) falls on mothers, 61% of millennial dads say that they would much rather spend time with their children and families than on DIY projects.

“The life of a modern dad has changed,” says‘s Anne Ferguson. “While quick to master new tools like apps and mobile technology, today’s time-pressed dads are also faster to outsource time-consuming home maintenance to professionals who have the tools and training to get the job done right. It’s a handy trade-off that enables modern dads to spend more time with the people they love.”


home maintenance


Millennials aren’t homeowners

Perhaps one of the most important reasons that millennial dads aren’t as handy with their DIY skills is because baby boomers ruined everything. Just kidding, but the rapid rise of housing prices coupled with stagnant wage growth, post-financial crash, has meant that home ownership is but a dream for many millennials. According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the chances of a middle-income young person owning a home has halved in the last two decades.

Additionally, as we are now predominantly a generation of renters, we feel no real urgency to pick up DIY skills, after all, it’s not our house. Many landlords forbid tenants to modify anything in their home and if something breaks it’s their duty to fix it.

Of course, if something does go wrong it would be handy to know how to fix it, rather than waiting on the landlord to call a professional, but without that sense of ownership the need to take on this additional responsibility quickly dissipates.

However, the survey also found that the definition of handiness has changed somewhat and both 79% of millennial dads and 74% of boomer dads agree that handiness means something different. For example, around two thirds of boomer dads concede defeat to the younger generation when it comes to dealing with tech problems.