DIY disasters cost Brits £3.4bn

While Britain is a nation of DIY lovers, our favourite hobby does not
come without its problems as home improvement disasters cost more than
£3.4bn across the UK.

That’s an average of £2,271 per household, with 36 per cent of people admitting the most common mistake is underestimating the time or cost of a project, according to a new study.

Bursting a water pipe, often while accidentally drilling into it, was also a common error for one in three Brits (34 per cent).

Other disasters include a simple paint job leaving people crying over ‘spilt paint’ on the carpet (28 per cent), while causing plaster damage to a wall from putting a shelf up has caused nearly 1 in 5 Brits (19 per cent) a headache.

It seems there isn’t a North/South divide when it comes to botching jobs, as London (18 per cent), Northern Ireland (14 per cent) and the North West (10 per cent) all come in the top three regions where the most DIY disasters take place. However, those in the East of the country were the least likely to have a mishap.

The study for Co-op Insurance also found that those aged between 25-30 years old seem far less able to tackle DIY tasks, with 1 in 7 (14 per cent) young adults admitting to botching a job, whilst the more experienced over 55s were well versed in how to perform home improvements, as they were the least likely to have a mishap (6 per cent). Women are more likely than men to have had a DIY disaster: 10 per cent of them compared to eight per cent of men.

Following these DIY mishaps, 40 per cent of people are likely to call in a professional builder or handyman on all future jobs that may need to be carried out on their property.

Caroline Hunter, head of home insurance at Co-op, said: “Brits are well-known for their love affair with DIY, however our findings show that we are not always successful. Enthusiasm is brilliant but this needs to be balanced with ability, as what seems like a simple task can often lead to a much more expensive job. It is therefore important to approach DIY with not only common sense, but also knowledge and preparation, to try to ensure accidents don’t happen.”