Planning some DIY over the bank holiday? It could be more costly than you think

22nd August 2014


If you’re planning a spot of home improvement this bank holiday weekend, be warned you could find yourself lumbered with an expensive bill to put a DIY disaster right.

Research by insurer LV= shows two million Britons have damaged their properties by attempting DIY and paid out a staggering £67 million to put their disasters right. One in 10 DIY-ers have had to claim on their home insurance as a result of damaging their property.

The recent surge in house prices has led to an increase in the number of people attempting DIY, with two-thirds of people attempting to increase the value of their home with everything from a lick of paint to a full-blown extension.

However, this increase in DIY has led to a rise in DIY disasters and over the past five years, two million have ruined a DIY job and one in 20 had to call out a professional to fix it – a figure that has risen year-on-year since 2010.

Jobs most likely to go wrong include:

* Painting and decorating (32% go wrong)
* Applying sealant around a bath or shower (18%)
* Tiling (16%)
* Plastering (13%)
* Filling a crack or hole in a wall (12%)

One in 20 people have damaged their property as a result of poor DIY, and the most common types of damage are cosmetic, such as spilling paint when decorating.

A quarter of DIY disasters have caused water damage and 16% have resulted in electrical faults. A total of 16% of DIYers have damaged their property, for example by putting their foot through the loft floor or smashing through a wall.

While most people, 85% undertook DIY, to save money, even though 36% of people admitting to not knowing what they were doing and 18% saying the job was too complicated.

Doing it yourself can often create more cost than getting an expert in and homeowners risk invalidating their insurance if work involving gas, electrics, plumbing and structural work are not signed off by a specialist who will ensure they meet safety and building regulations.

Selwyn Fernandes, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: ‘August bank holiday is a key time for homeowners to get out their tools and undertake some DIY, but homeowners need to be realistic about how much they can achieve without professional help.

‘Our advice to anyone attempting home improvements this bank holiday weekend is to be realistic about whether you have the skills and the time to undertake such a task, and to take all the necessary precautions  to avoid damaging your property or injuring yourself.’


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