The most common DIY disasters

4 April 2012

One in six of us will attempt some form of home improvement, according to Santander Insurance, and 75% of those people will do so without any form of expert help. And it's not just men who are preparing to wield a drill - 3.9 million women will do some DIY this Bank Holiday weekend.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, of those DIY projects undertaken 13% will go wrong in some way, resulting in us Brits having to cough up £169 million collectively to sort out the problems.

"The long weekends are a golden opportunity to get stuck in to some long-overdue tasks around the home," says Colin Greenhill, director of Santander Insurance.

"It's good to see that so many people are planning to use their time off so productively, but we also know from past experience that there is a tendency among DIY enthusiasts to underestimate the difficulty or length of their home improvement projects."

What goes wrong?

The most common mistake is that people underestimate the time or cost of the project they are attempting.

Next on the list is damage to walls, ceilings and furnishings. Then we get on to the more worrying items - 6% of people's DIY resulted in burst pipes and 3% damaged their lofts.

"Our advice to anyone attempting home improvements is to be realistic about whether they have the skills and the time to undertake such a task, to make sure that they have insurance that covers them if things don't go to plan and to seek help from a tradesman where necessary," says Greenhill.

The most common home improvement/DIY issues in the past 12 months

  • Underestimated the time/cost of the project - 25%
  • Damaged/marked walls - 15%
  • Damaged ceiling - 9%
  • Damaged/marked flooring/carpet - 8%
  • Damaged/marked furniture - 7%
  • Burst pipe - 6%
  • Damaged property exterior - 4%
  • Damaged loft - 3%
  • Damaged electrics - 2%

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