40% of new homeowners suffer DIY disasters in their first year

28th January 2016


A substantial four in 10 homeowners have DIY disasters in their first year – and more than half call in the professionals to put right botched jobs according to a new survey.

Spilled paint, burst pipes and plaster falling off walls are amongst the most common DIY disasters encountered by new housebuyers, according to research from Aviva.

A survey by the insurer of around 1,000 recent home-movers found that people spent on average more than £10,000 in the first year doing up their new properties.

However the research also revealed that costs are often bumped up by messed-up jobs around the house.

Nine out of 10 people surveyed said they tried to save on their domestic outlays by doing at least some of the renovations and redecorations themselves.

However, 39% admitted they had a DIY disaster while doing up their new home and worse still, when things went wrong, more than half of DIY-ers, at 54%, had to call in a professional to put right their mistakes.

The most common DIY disasters revealed by the study are as follows:

  1. Spilled paint on carpet / furniture
  2. Plaster fell off walls
  3. Burst pipe
  4. Put a hole through wall / ceiling
  5. Injured self
  6. Did a poor job of decorating and had to re-do
  7. Ceiling fell down
  8. Broke a window
  9. Broke an electrical item e.g. TV
  10. Broke a household item e.g. ornament / furniture

Adam Beckett, propositions director for Aviva said: “When it comes to decorating and renovating most of us have a ‘can do’ attitude – or we’re at least willing to give things a go! Budgets are often tight after a house move too, so DIY can be a great way of saving cash.”

However, the reality is that some jobs are trickier than they look and can actually ending up costing more if mistakes need to be put right.

Beckett added: “It’s always worth weighing up whether the DIY route is the best way to go, particularly when it comes to plumbing or electrical jobs which could be extremely dangerous if things go wrong.

“Prevention is better than the cure when it comes to DIY disasters, but when mistakes do happen, it’s worth getting in touch with your home insurance provider – particularly if you have accidental damage cover – as they may well be able to help you get back to that ‘house beautiful’.”

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