In the wake of falling property prices, home owners are facing the prospect of living to the end of their days with their own DIY efforts. Traditionally, households have been able to do a slapdash job and quickly move up the housing ladder. But the prospect of having to redecorate rooms they've already nearly finished once is proving intolerable.
Micheal Dowel, a near-keen DIYer in Ipswich, is desperate to sell before the winter comes. He is concerned that plunging temperatures might reveal how much of his guttering is held up by No Nails: "I know you're supposed to root through the kitchen drawers for some rawl plugs, then find the extension lead and the little key thing for the drill. But we were hoping to have moved by May, so I just used glue. If we don't get a seller soon, I'm going to have to brace it with gaffer tape."
There have been disturbing reports of adequate masking of woodwork, and some home owners have resorted to moving furniture before decorating. "We even took the pictures down", explained Judy Caulk, who takes a passing interest in what her neighbours think. "At our last house, we just painted round things and insisted on evening viewings."
B&Q has reported a drop in demand for glue that sticks bin bags to roof tiles, and an increase in sales of specialist tools, such as screwdrivers and hammers. "We've noticed people aren't using cutlery for so many jobs. Sure, you can use a spoon to open a tin of varnish, prise a light switch off the wall, or hack through a 13 amp cable. But we've noticed more people buying the right things for the job. One man even asked me if we had any picture hooks", explained a junior employee at the Dudley branch. "I told him my dad just bangs a nail in with his shoe." This newly assidous approach to DIY has even extended to the garden, many people are repairing tools properly before using them, with a four-fold increase in sales of fork-handles.
There is still a demand for superficial maintenance, though. Polyfilla have released a range of scrunched-up newspaper that can withstand a heavy frost, And sales of 'No Paste' wallpaper thumb tacks remain strong. The newly-released magnolia cellotape is seen as a miracle product by many, fixing everything from loose coving to leaking pipes, without having to find that old tin of paint at the back of the shed. One homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, admitted to "diluting emulsion to provide a sound base layer on new plaster, having waited for it to nearly dry out properly. I even watched it dry."
Some home owners are trying a different approach. Mark Chamfer from Suffolk explained how some simple DIY had increased his chance of selling: "I smashed a couple of roof tiles, demolished a load-bearing wall and dug out the foundations from one corner of my house. Sarah Beeny short-listed me for her next series as soon as she saw the pictures. I put her letter on RightMove and I've had dozens of offers from people who want to be on the telly, It's true what they say: viewing is essential."
Joint sub Waylandsmithy aided by Al O'Pecia