The Big Bothers Homeowners Could Avoid this Winter

Big Bothers are set to strike UK homes this winter, but around half admit to putting off repairs until the last minute.

Craig Phillips fixing a frozen condensate pipe

Two thirds (67%) of homes are facing big bothers around the home this winter.

This includes no heating, cold radiators, and frozen pipes, with the average household facing two of these issues and almost a third (31%) set to face three or more.

  • Big Bothers are set to strike UK homes this winter, but around half (45%) admit to putting off repairs until the last minute – racking up £3.7 billion of avoidable bills1
  • TV personality and celebrity builder, Craig Philips has teamed up with Home Assistance provider HomeServe by creating a series of how-to videos showing households some simple fixes to get your home winter-ready and save money

However, almost half of households (45%) are set to delay fixing a big bother around their home this winter, leaving broken pipes, radiators, and boilers unfixed, racking up £253 on average and adding up to billions of pounds of avoidable bills.

Reality TV personality and celebrity builder, Craig Phillips has joined forces with Home Assistance provider HomeServe to urge the nation to tackle these big bothers head-on via the help of a series of how-to videos, rather than delay the issue.

Despite no heating (20%) being the top bother reported, two in five (41%) admit to having delayed 2 having the problem fixed3. A fifth (22%) say this is due to them not having the money to fix it.

HomeServe is urging the nation to switch their boiler on ahead of winter, to troubleshoot any issues before being left without heating or hot water during the colder months. Yet, concerningly, six in ten (60%1 ) will delay switching on their boiler due to worries around utility bills, even though doing so could lead to more expensive repairs down the line.

Andrew Barton, Gas Engineer at Home Assistance provider HomeServe comments: 

“At HomeServe we see a surge in boiler related issues when many people turn their heating on for the first time in the colder months. We've teamed up with reality TV star and celebrity builder Craig Phillips to help get the nation's homes winter-ready, keep them running smoothly and save them from surprising repairs through our series of simple guided how-to videos that fix common issues around the home.”

Craig Phillips comments: 

“We should feel peace of mind in our own home, and I want to inspire the nation to tackle their fixes, rather than delay them and incur a larger bill down the road.”


Table 1: Top 10 bothers experienced around the home during the winter months

  1. No heating (20%)
  2. Boiler that wasn’t functioning properly (18%)
  3. Cold radiators (17%)
  4. No hot water (16%)
  5. Low water pressure (15%)
  6. Frozen pipes (14%)
  7. Boiler that wouldn’t turn on (14%)
  8. Roof leaks (11%)
  9. No electricity (11%)
  10. Drainage issue (11%)

Notes to editors:

For more information, or to arrange a media interview, please contact:

Liam Reeves – Third City

Telephone: 07398 268 187

About the research

Unless otherwise stated, the research was conducted by Censuswide research among 2,002 UK adults between 04.09.2023 - 06.09.2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

A little bit about HomeServe

As one of the country’s leading home assistance providers, HomeServe has 30 years’ experience looking after UK homes. From plumbing, drainage, boiler, heating, or electrics cover to new boilers and one-off repairs, they're always looking for ways to bring you better care for your home, through their range of products and services. With a nationwide network of Home Experts and a claims line that’s open 24/7, 365 days a year, you can count on them to be there when it matters most.

Diversity and inclusion

HomeServe is proud to promote equality and inclusion through all their partnerships, including Business in the Community, Stonewall, Race at Work Charter and the Business Disability Forum. In recognition of these efforts, they’ve become a signatory of the Race at Work Charter, voted Best Place to Work for Women 2020, achieved accreditation to become a Disability Confident Committed employer and are now ranked in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. In 2021, HomeServe also earned a place on the list of European Great Places to Work.

HomeServe - we’re on our way.

67.28% of UK homes have at least one ‘bother’ and on average delaying fixing these ‘bothers’ costs £253.49. According to ONS 2021 mid year population estimate there are 54,711,707 UK adults and dividing this by the average size of UK households which is 2.36, gives us an estimate of 23,182,927 households. 67.28% of these households – or 15,597,473.1 households – have at least one ‘bother’ which costs £253.49 to fix or £3,673,048,940.32 (253.49 x 15,597,473.1) collectively

2 'Yes, I sought help eventually but not immediately for this’, ‘No, I didn't really seek any help for this’ and ‘No, I didn't seek help at all for these responses combined

For top 10 bothers, see table 1