Whether it’s a leaky pipe or a fresh lick of paint, most homeowners engage in DIY tasks around the home. But some tasks are more enjoyable than others, and British homeowners aren’t afraid to make themselves heard when it comes to which DIY tasks they love or loathe. 


To gain a deeper understanding of how Brits feel about DIY, Toolstation investigated the most stressful and most calming DIY tasks. From gutter cleaning to carpet removal, discover which DIY tasks homeowners are fond of, and which are less than enjoyable. 

The 10 most calming DIY tasks

Data taken from Reddit shows that homeowners find gardening to be the most calming task of all. Following closely behind are interior design and wallpapering in second and third, showing a positive attitude towards interior aesthetics. Shelf crafting takes fourth place in the rank, with many people finding it therapeutic to create and install their own shelves. Finally, tiling scores well with homeowners, earning its place in the top five most calming DIY tasks. 


Surprisingly, Brits also like to kick back and relax by cleaning their gutters, which takes spot number six in the rank. Feng shui was also found to be a calming task, as well as woodworking, weeding and painting. 

The 10 most stressful DIY tasks

So, which DIY task do Brits find the most stressful? Our data shows that homeowners are most agitated when installing new flooring, with this mammoth job taking the top spot as the most stressful DIY task. 


Coming in second and third are carpet cleaning and carpet removal, undoubtedly demanding tasks. In fourth place comes fixing damp, followed by plumbing leaks and roof repair. Home security measures such as installing locks and CCTV also evoke negative emotions in homeowners, coming in with a high stress score. Rounding out the table are drain issues and fitting new doors in spots nine and ten.


Many of these tasks require specialist tools and a great deal of expertise, which is why the average homeowner may find these particularly stressful. If you find yourself daunted by the idea of a large DIY task and don’t have the proper tools or skillset, it’s much better to rely on a trustworthy tradesperson than to suffer at home. Not only will the task be done quicker and with less stress, but your project will be finished to professional standards.

The most disgusting DIY tasks

To find the most disgusting DIY tasks, we studied Reddit posts to see which tasks were accompanied by feelings of disgust within posts. Unsurprisingly, soil mulching, carpet cleaning, drain leaks, drain unclogging and gutter maintenance were found to be the five most disgusting tasks. 


Soil mulching was found to be the most disgusting task, with carpet cleaning only one point behind. Also on the list are plumbing tasks– fixing drain leaks and drain unclogging. Unfortunately, these tasks – though messy – are necessary, but they can be made more bearable by wearing the correct workwear to keep your skin and clothes protected from dirt and mess.

The most anger-inducing DIY tasks

As well as being considered a stressful and disgusting task, carpet cleaning was found to be the most anger-inducing DIY task. Installing floors also instilled lots of anger, followed by carpet replacement, fixing water damage, and roof repairs.


Calling a tradesperson to help out is the best way to avoid unnecessary stress and anger. Experienced tradespeople tackle these tasks every day, and can efficiently solve problems and complete tricky installations without batting an eyelid. 

Sources and methodology

More than 100,000 comments and posts were gathered from Reddit using its API, achieved by searching for DIY tasks like 'Painting', 'Tiling', 'Flooring', etc., across various DIY-related subreddits. These texts formed the foundation for analysing public perceptions of these tasks. 


The initial set of 100,000 texts was refined to retain only those directly related to DIY tasks, resulting in approximately 36,000 relevant comments. These were then categorised based on their respective DIY topics. 


After preparing the text for sentiment analysis, the EmoLex natural language processing toolkit was used. EmoLex contains an extensive emotional dictionary and was employed to gauge emotion levels within the text, encompassing anger, fear, anticipation, trust, surprise, sadness, joy, and disgust. 


The emotional analysis yielded a total emotion score for each DIY task. To determine stress levels, counts from fear and anger were combined to create a 'stress score'. The stress percentage was derived by calculating the frequency of 'stress' against the overall emotion count, indicating the proportion of text expressing stress. 


The 'joy score' reflected the frequency of 'joy' in text for each DIY topic, with the joy percentage representing its occurrence against the total emotion count. Similarly, the 'positivity score' and percentage were computed, assessing the positive sentiment within the text. 


Both positivity percentage and joy percentage were used to create a weighted rank, while stress score and stress percentage contributed to another weighted rank, facilitating a comprehensive evaluation of emotions associated with each DIY task.