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Coronavirus: how to buy what you need for DIY and essential repairs

Where can you get materials for essential home improvement work?

Coronavirus: how to buy what you need for DIY and essential repairs

LAST UPDATED: 21 May B&Q, Homebase and Wickes have now opened all of their UK stores with social distancing conditions. Dunelm has opened some of its stores. Ikea has not yet set a date for UK stores to open.


DIY stores such as B&Q and Homebase have shut their bricks-and-mortar shops during the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown, but many are offering online deliveries and there are still some retailers you can visit for essential items.

With extra time at home, it’s certainly very tempting to make a start on some of the DIY projects you’ve been meaning to get around to for months.

But advice from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) is to stick to essential jobs and those necessary for routine household maintenance, to avoid the risk of injury. The last thing you want is to accidentally land yourself in A&E at a time when the NHS is stretched to capacity.

The British Society for Surgery of the Hand has a similar message, urging people to take extra care to avoid injuries if they’re using gardening equipment or power tools during lockdown.

Inevitably though, some people will find themselves with urgent jobs that need to be done and repairs that need to be made. So where can you buy what you need for essential jobs?

DIY store updates

Most major DIY stores have closed their doors to customers. Some are offering ‘click and collect’ services for essential items and most are still open for online delivery for a limited range of products.

Keep reading for store-specific details. Or, for more general information on your shopping rights during the lockdown, head to our guide to coronavirus: shopping, deliveries and consumer rights.

Store Stores open Click and collect service Home delivery available
B&Q 155 stores open Yes for essentials Yes but not all products available
Dunelm No No Yes
Homebase 20 stores open from 25 April No Yes
Ikea No No Yes but no large items requiring two-person delivery
Screwfix No Yes for essentials Yes
Toolstation No Yes for essentials Yes
Wickes No Yes for essentials Yes
Wilko Yes – although some stores are closed. Earlier closing at 5pm Monday to Saturday No Yes

+Table updated 24th April

B&Q

UPDATE: 21/05/2020: B&Q has now reopened all of its stores. Opening times are generally 8am – 6pm Monday-Saturday and 10am – 4pm Sunday. Click and collect services have been resumed but there may be delays to the next day service.

Social distancing controls are in place and services such as kitchen and bathroom design, timber cutting and key cutting are not available. All payments must be by card. Some stores have stopped their paint-mixing service – check B&Q’s store locator for details.

The number of customers allowed in-store at once is limited. A B&Q spokesperson said: ‘customers are typically queuing before entering stores. All stores have a designated queuing area outside and these have two metre markers’.


B&Q’s bricks-and-mortar stores have shut, but B&Q has a click and collect service and online delivery at DIY.com. However, both services are limited to what it deems ‘essential items for repair and maintenance’.

Navigating the website can be frustrating, as you will find you’re able to add things to your basket that are then neither in stock for delivery or available for click and collect at your local store.

B&Q says it is working on expanding its home delivery range.

B&Q’s ‘next day click and collect’ service will operate from your local store’s car park. Allocated parking zones have been set up where products you’ve ordered will be brought to you or your car to limit face-to-face contact.

Deliveries are free when you spend more than £50, and £5 if you spend less than £50. Click and collect is free of charge.

Customer service is available through B&Q’s online form.

Dunelm

UPDATE: 21/05/2020: Dunelm has now opened 39 stores with strict social distancing measures. The stores are:

Blackpool, Boston, Bournemouth, Bristol Cribbs Causeway, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Chester, Chesterfield, Coventry, Croydon, Dartford, Derby, Dunstable, Erdington, Greenford, Hastings, Hemel, Hereford, Leeds, Lincoln, Maidstone, Mansfield, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oldbury, Plymouth, Romford, Sheffield Woodseats, Stockport, Stockton, Sunderland, Swindon, Telford, Thurmaston, Trafford, Weston-Super-Mare, Worcester, York.

In addition, at these stores, Dunelm also offers click and collect through its website, call and collect, and also pick while you wait, where you can remain outside, and a member of staff will bring your items outside to you.

You can also browse their store through video appointments.

Delivery items can take longer than usual but the date on your order confirmation should be a true reflection of how long your order will take.


Dunelm is now offering two-person delivery but products will all be left on your doorstep. Dunelm warns delivery can take three to four weeks.

Dunelm’s stores and click and collect service are both closed. Its home delivery services are now up and running, after a brief hiatus.

However, large items that require a two-person delivery will not be sent out. The website has been updated to reflect this, and large items are showing as temporarily unavailable.

Customer support is available on the phone, but there may be a longer waiting time than usual. Dunelm suggests using its online contact form in the first instance.

Delivery is free over £20, which is half the usual minimum order value, and £3.95 for orders under that amount.

Homebase

UPDATE: 21/05/2020: Homebase has now opened all of its stores with strict social distancing measures. You can visit individual store pages to find details of how many people are allowed in the store at any one time, as well as opening hours.


Homebase shut its stores on 25 March and is not currently operating a click and collect service. Its website remains open for business.

Delivery costs start at £6. There is a two-to-three-day delay on deliveries at the moment, although some online customer reviews suggest that delays may be longer than this.

Customer support is only available through its online contact form.

Ikea

UPDATE: 21/05/2020: Ikea has announced aims to start reopening stores in Europe in May but currently has not given a date for reopening UK stores.


Ikea’s stores are closed. One of its stores in north-west London has turned its car park into a drive-through COVID-19 testing centre for NHS staff.

The website remains operational but two-person deliveries are temporarily on hold. The website has been updated to reflect this. Ikea will get in touch with anyone who is awaiting heavy or bulky orders over the coming days.

Any deliveries will be contact-free and left outside your home, so bear in mind that anything you order you’ll need to carry into the house yourself.

Delivery ranges from £3.95 to £19.95, depending on the size of your order. Expect to be waiting a while for delivery – at the time of writing, the earliest available date was 18 April.

There’s no option to contact customer services by phone at the moment, but webchat, an online contact form or Ikea’s virtual assistant, Lattjo, are all available.

Screwfix

Screwfix is operating a click and collect service, but asks that this is only used if your order is really essential. The service is open between 8am-5pm Monday to Saturday (only to 4pm on Wednesdays) and 9am-4pm Sunday (1pm – 6pm in Northern Ireland).

Strict social distancing measures are in place, and some stores are completely closed.

You can still place orders for delivery and there is a still a next-day delivery service if you order by 4pm. Screwfix warns that there is a possibility this could be delayed on some occasions. Other priority deliveries, including those guaranteed to arrive before 12pm the next day, have been suspended.

Delivery costs £5 for orders under £50 and is free over that amount.

Customer service by phone is closed. You can get in contact through the online contact form.

Toolstation

Stores are closed except for essential click and collect purchases. On-site staff are observing strict social distancing measures. Toolstation asks that you do not visit its stores until you have received a text saying your order is ready. Products available will be limited – you can’t order anything that needs more than one person to lift it.

The service is open from 8am-5pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-4pm on Sundays.

Home delivery services are running but will take two to three business days. Orders under £10 incur a £5 delivery fee, and above this amount delivery is free.

Customer service phone lines are closed temporarily. You can contact Toolstation via email (info@toolstation.com) or visit its FAQs page.

Wickes

UPDATE: 21/05/2020: Wickes has now reopened its stores. Opening hours are either 7am – 4pm or 8am – 5pm depending on the store. Its paint-mixing service isn’t available and kitchen appointments are only available virtually. You’ll need to pay for your purchase with card.


Wickes stores are closed. The website is open for online orders and click and collect essential orders, but you may be put in a virtual queue to enter the website. You can only place orders between 6am and 3pm, from Monday to Saturday.

Click and collect orders can be collected from the front of the store – check your store’s opening hours before travelling.

Standard delivery for small parcels is £2.95, while delivery of large items costs £30. Wickes warns that availability of products may be limited at times.

Next-day delivery on orders over £75 is free, but it’s £7.95 for orders under that amount. However, Wickes warns that this service is unlikely to be available for most products.

You can still call its customer service number, but there may be longer waiting times. Alternatively, email (customerservices@wickes.co.uk) or use the online contact form.

Wilko

Most branches of Wilko remain open, but stores currently shut at 5pm on Monday – Saturday to allow thorough store cleaning. Sunday times are unchanged.

Wilko asks that you only visit the stores for essential items. In line with many supermarkets, it has placed restrictions on certain products, such as pain relief and hand sanitisers. The restrictions won’t apply to DIY or home repair products though.

Order and collect and next-day delivery services have both been suspended.

Delivery is £5 for standard items and £12 for heavy items. It can take up to 11 working days for items to be delivered and it’s possible there could be further delays.

You can still call Wilko’s customer service line, but you may experience queuing times of up to an hour. Wilko suggests you email instead at enquiries@wilko.com.

It’s important to bear in mind that each nation is setting out plans to ease restrictions further in the coming days, so it’s best to check locally for the up to date position on a particular store.

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