You’ve watched a couple of episodes of Grand Designs, you put a shelf up once, so when the Bank Holiday rolled around again you thought it would be a good idea to revamp your home with a bit of DIY.
Then the pipe burst from your shoddy plumbing, you spent the evening in casualty with your thumb bending the wrong way and no one has any idea where the cat is. Many of us think the bank holiday weekend is a good time to get going on DIY, but in actual fact it could end up costing you a lot more than you think.
If you spent the second Bank Holiday in May ruining your home and having to pick up the bill; it’s too late. But for those budding DIY experts out there who haven’t yet put hammer to nail, a word of warning. Stop and think before you hit metal on metal and end up with a crumbling house on your hands.
Before you do anything
While you may have saved loads of money on your discount home insurance, you could end up having to claim if your DIY adventures go wrong, and call in the professionals to complete the job. So before you do anything, make sure you actually have a little extra money to cover any tradesmen that have to come in to rectify your work. It’s also important to get in touch with your insurance provider before you do anything. Find out whether you’re covered in the event of a DIY nightmare, and whether any structural changes will affect your policy.
If you live in a new home, it’s also important to find out whether any building work you’re hoping to do will invalidate the building guarantee the property may have. It’s starting to sound a bit like too much work don’t you think?
DIY plumbing / bathrooms
You watched Phil Spencer Secret Agent the other day and now you know what a difference a shining new bathroom can make to your property. You go in armed with a spanner, some tiles and big ideas. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end up how you’d expect. In reality, putting in a new bathroom is an extremely complicated job and if you want it doing properly, it’s a good idea to get the professionals in. It may seem like a stretch for your finances, but when it’s sparkly and new it’ll be worth it. Imagine having to pay out the same again to correct your shoddy work. No one is going to be happy with you. Much better to spend your time looking over the shoulder of someone else, tutting and making snide comments on work you have no idea about yourself.
If you have to do some plumbing and think you can manage it, here are a few idiot proof steps to take:
- Locate the stopcock and ensure all water is turned off at the mains before you start any work
- Make sure there are no live wires hidden behind walls – these can be especially dangerous for the amateur plumber
- Check how old your plumbing system is – if it’s old, it could run into additional costs if you mess it up
- Check the size and scale of the job and make sure you have all the necessary tools to hand – no you can’t just do it all with a spanner – if you don’t do this you run the risk of a small job turning into a big one which your wallet can’t take
What does your insurance say? In most instances, incidents like this will be covered, but you do have a duty of care not to undertake any work that could be detrimental to your property.
If you do have to do it yourself, remember to take care!