Essential DIY tips for Easter

Essential Easter DIY tipsEaster weekend traditionally marks the start of the DIY season and it’s estimated that half of the country’s homeowners will be digging out their toolboxes and rolling up their sleeves to tackle long overdue jobs. Millions of Britons testing their home improvement skills will inevitably lead to some DIY disasters and research has revealed that one in five will need to get professional help to straighten out their botched jobs, costing an average of £3,200. To avoid adding to the statistics take the following tips:

Research is Key In a recent survey, one in three homeowners admitted that they had started a DIY project without a proper plan. The internet is a great research resource, but it’s worth bearing in mind that YouTubers have a habit of making technical tasks look surprisingly simple. Don’t be overambitious, know your limits, and don’t be afraid to ask for professional help.

Stay Safe Everybody knows that accidents can and do happen and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents estimates that 200,000 people end-up in A&E every year with DIY and gardening injuries. Inappropriate clothing is a major culprit, so make sure you aren’t wearing anything baggy and that you’ve got the correct safety gear (notably protective footwear, goggles and gloves).

Little Helpers The American actor W C Fields famously said ‘never work with children or animals’ and it goes without saying that little people and family pets should be kept well away from any DIY work.

Gas Safety DIY and gas don’t mix and you should always use a registered Gas Safe engineer. The dangers of working with gas don’t need to be spelled out and if something does go wrong your insurance won’t pay-out.

Water Works The first step of any plumbing job is to locate your stopcock and shut off the household water supply. Even if you think it’s unnecessary, it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Wonky Wiring Insurance is all about safeguarding against risk, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we recommend all electrical work is carried out by a qualified electrician. Even simple jobs can go disastrously wrong and an estimated 125,000 house fires are caused every year by bad wiring.

Power Tools Remember that anything that can go wrong with a hand tool can go spectacularly wrong very quickly with a power tool. Men seem inexplicably drawn towards power tools, but they should be approached with caution and handled with care.

Stud Detectors It’s amazing how much damage can be done when something as simple as putting-up a picture goes wrong. Drill through a live wire and the best you can hope for is a blown fuse box, hammer a nail through a gas pipe and the consequences could be catastrophic. Before making any holes in a wall use a stud detector to see if there’s any wood, metal or wiring hiding underneath the plaster.

Cutting Corners Using cut price materials can be a false economy, they are often much more difficult to work with and the results don’t look great. Take painting as an example: cheaper brushes tend to shed more hairs (which you’ll endlessly be picking out of the paintwork) while watery paint drips all over the place and you’ll probably need a couple more coats.

Be Meticulous One of the oldest sayings in the building trade is ‘measure twice, cut once’ and there’s a good reason why it’s stood the test of time.

Time is Money Some homeowners love the challenge of DIY while for others it’s a financial decision. If you’re amongst the latter, it’s worth considering that a professional tradesman will get the job done in half the time (and to a much higher standard) and it might make financial sense to put in a few hours overtime at work.

Get Covered Standard home insurance policies generally don’t cover DIY disasters so it’s essential to read the small print before getting stuck in. Accidental damage cover is typically sold as an additional benefit and shouldn’t cost more than a couple of litres of emulsion. To find out more visit our home insurance pages or Tel: 0161 874 8032 to talk with a member of our team.


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