Five common DIY disasters to avoid

3 minutes

Before you lift a hammer, power up a drill or buckle up your tool belt, check your home insurance policy is up to date and will cover you for any accidental damage caused by a DIY disaster.

  • Bank Holidays are a popular time to do some DIY - but if projects go wrong, things can be expensive to put right
  • Some of the more common DIY accidents include spilling paint on the carpet or hammering a nail through a water pipe
  • Check with your home insurance provider to see if you have cover for accidental damage caused by a DIY-related accident

Do your research before you DIY 

With summer just around the corner, and a string of Bank Holidays over the next few months, spring is one of the most popular times of year to do some DIY around the house. 

With professional builders and decorators sometimes quoting hundreds of pounds for jobs that seem relatively straightforward, some people believe they can tackle the majority of home improvements themselves. Unfortunately, this can lead to a DIY disaster!

But don't be put off. Provided you've done the right preparation, got the right tools for the job and have checked your home insurance cover, you'll be good to go. Don’t forget, DIY superstores often hold special offers and promotions on the Bank Holiday weekends, meaning you could save money by taking on the work yourself.

Before you get started, check out our Top five DIY disasters, and how to avoid making the same mistakes in your home.

  1. Smashing windows with a ladder. 

    You can't avoid using a ladder for some DIY projects. Take care when clearing out gutters for example - you don't want to break window glass in the process. Avoid smashing upstairs windows by correctly positioning your ladder before climbing up it.

  2. Drilling or cutting into electrical wires.

    Before you drill into the wall to put up that shelf, or hammer a nail in to hang a picture, use a wire and pipe detector to discover where the electrical cabling is in the walls. Damage to electrical wires can be costly to repair - not to mention dangerous.

  3. Splashing paint. 

    One of the most common DIY disasters is spilling paint on carpets and furniture when decorating. Thoroughly prepare for your paint job by removing any furniture that might get damaged and covering everything (especially carpets) with old sheets. Carry and store pots of paint carefully, and banish pets and small children from the room when you’re ready to start!

  4. Drilling through pipes.

    Simply hanging a mirror in the bathroom could quickly become a disaster if you accidently drill through a water pipe. Avoid flooding your house by using a wire and pipe detector and your common sense when it comes to where pipes are likely to be.

  5. Flat pack frustrations. 

    Most people come a cropper with flat pack furniture and can end up botching the construction because the instructions seem too complicated. Read and follow the instruction book carefully, and take your time assembling your new furniture. If you've built a shaky TV stand that can’t take the weight of your telly, it could result in a costly accident.

Before starting any ambitious DIY projects, check the levels of cover provided by your home insurance policy. Undertaking some of the more involved DIY projects, like structural changes to the building, could invalidate any home insurance cover if the work isn’t completed by a professional.

Accidental damage cover may insure things like ladders through windows, cracked sinks, broken mirrors and damaged ceramic hobs. Some policies may even provide cover for damage caused by nails through pipes, putting your foot through the ceiling and burns and scorches on the carpet.  It’s best to check what your insurer will and won’t cover before you get happy with your hammer!