Aside from the chance to blow the dust off their treasured power tools, the key reason people take on DIY projects around the home is to save on residential building work costs.
Unfortunately, without the right skills, knowledge and preparation DIY can actually end up costing more than hiring a professional – with Local Heros estimating Brits spend up to £34 billion (yes billion) each year, fixing bad DIY jobs.
Now whilst a botched job on the garden fence won’t damage much more than your pride, there are some DIY mistakes that can end up costing you hundreds in remedial work – here are 4 costly DIY mistakes and how to avoid them.
Cutting Through Wires
Any DIY electrical work is not recommended unless you have the correct skills and qualifications. As well as the potential for an electric shock, without the right certification from a registered electrician, DIY electrical work can result in invalidated insurance and trouble if you ever plan to rent out or sell your home.
Even if you’re not attempting electrical work, you should be wary of unintentionally cutting through wires whilst doing other work – this is one of the most common mistakes people make when attempting DIY, as well as being one of the most dangerous and costly.
Depending on which wire you cut through, you could find that an entire circuit or even the whole property is without electricity, this could result in a rewire being required.
Before you nail, screw or drill anything in your wall, make sure you know the route of the cables within, a cable detector can help you track these cables before carrying out work. In any case, you should switch off the electricity before carrying out any extensive work and don’t attempt anything you are not comfortable with.
Knocking Down Load Bearing Walls
Knocking down walls can create additional space in your property, however, it’s not without its risks. Knocking down a ‘load bearing’ wall (one that supports the ceiling or the floor above) is very dangerous – causing structural damage and even complete collapse.
So, before you get happy with the hammer and start knocking down walls, first ensure you know whether or not the wall is bearing a load or not. If you’re unsure, consult with a professional.
If you’re certain that the wall bears no load and do plan to knock it down, ensure you use the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) including safety goggles and a face mask, there will be lots of dust!
Using the Wrong Tool for the Job
As they say, you can’t fit a round peg in a square hole – and it’s the same for home DIY. Using the wrong tool for the job can damage your tools and whatever it is you are working on. Here are some common examples of DIY jobs that are often attempted with the wrong tools:
- Chiselling – A hammer and a screwdriver just won’t cut it.
- Levelling – It can be tempting to use a phone app, but nothing is as accurate as a proper spirit level.
- Measuring – Measurements are important when doing any property improvement work, using your arm span as opposed to a proper tape measure is a one-way ticket to inaccurate measurements.
- Painting – Using a roller or brush that’s old or the incorrect size can leave you with an untidy finish.
- Bleeding the radiators – Use a radiator key, not a screwdriver!
- Reaching high places – If you’re doing work on your ceiling, don’t use your furniture as a makeshift ladder – invest in a proper stepladder instead.
To prevent causing damage to your tools and property, plan out the job before you undertake it to ensure you have all the right tools available once you get started.
Ignoring Building Regulations
If you’re considering carrying out structural changes to your home, you may require building regulations approval before you can get started.
Going ahead with work without the proper building regulations authority can result in penalty fees of up to £5,000 – surely the most costly DIY mistake you’ll ever make! The following will require building regulations approval:
- Work to the interior or exterior of your property that will affect a load bearing wall. This could include extensions, loft conversions and replacement of floors.
- Any major electrical work such as changing a fusebox or It’s possible to get your work certified by a registered electrician, however, they are often loathed to do this as it makes them liable and offers little return.
- Installation of a boiler or fuel-burning appliance – any gas work should be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
- Ventilation including doors, windows and fixed air-con units.
- Anything that affects hygiene, drainage, waste disposal or conversation of fuel and power.
If you’re ever planning extensive DIY work and you’re unsure whether you need approval, use the GOV.UK website to view all approved documents in relation to meeting the building regulations. If you’re unsure, call a professional instead.
A Team of Experts Built to Please You
As you can see, DIY isn’t always such a walk in the park. If you’re struggling with a DIY project, or want a professional to bring your vision to life – we can help.
From routine maintenance to complete transformation, Aesum brings together a range of professional tradesman with all the necessary qualifications and expertise to carry out work on your commercial, residential or rental property.
Give us a call today on 01666 714040 or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you.