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Nightmare DIY jobs you're most likely to ignore

This Halloween, ghosts, witches and zombies will take to our streets but are there scarier things lurking inside your home? If you're ignoring a list of nightmarish DIY tasks it might be time to face your demons – a small DIY task could quickly turn into something much bigger if you ignore it.

Earlier this year, Which? revealed the five common DIY jobs homeowners are most likely to abandon. Top of the list were:

  • Plumbing issues (55%)
  • Electrical work (32%)
  • White goods installation (28%)
  • Tiling (25%)
  • Carpentry (13%).

Go it alone or get a tradesman to tackle the job?

You need to decide which jobs on your to-do list you can do yourself, and which ones require professional help. Use your common sense: if you don't have any knowledge of plumbing, electricals or carpentry, you shouldn't be trying related tasks, even if you're looking to save some money. If, for instance, you end up incorrectly installing electrics, it could cause damage, injury or a fire – in the very worst case, it could have fatal consequences.

There are, of course, many DIY jobs homeowners are capable of doing themselves. These include changing plugs and light bulbs, installing and testing smoke alarms, putting up shelves with brackets, and cleaning tiles and grouting. These tasks pose little danger, and you're bound to find handy tutorials on the internet if you're in need of some pointers.

Other tasks, like replacing tiles, installing fence panels, fitting skirting or boarding your loft, require some skill and specialist equipment. It's your decision whether to do them yourself or ask for help.

If you've decided the task is too big to tackle alone, you can find quality tradesman through websites such as Checkatrade.com. You could also ask friends and family who have had the same work done if they have any recommendations.

Are you covered?

Bear in mind that for some DIY work, you'll need to inform your insurer. This usually applies to larger jobs, i.e. those that are likely to affect the rebuild cost of your home. The same goes for jobs that alter the structure of the building. And don't forget, if your DIY job increases the total value of contents in your home (for instance, if you're upgrading your kitchen with a new washing machine and dishwasher) then you may need to boost your contents cover, too.

Damage to your home and contents as a result of DIY or building work is usually covered as an optional extra on home insurance policies, under 'accidental damage.' This is something you should consider as it'll cover you if, say, you knock over a tin of paint on your carpet whilst painting your living room.

The best thing to do is speak with your insurer ahead of the work being carried out. If you're insured with Hastings Direct we're always happy to help if you've got any questions about your policy.

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