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Bank Holiday Blunders - DIY Delight or Disaster?


Many home-owners are choosing to spend their annual holiday at home, this August. The prospect of chaotic airports, combined with the low value of the pound against the Euro, means that many of us are turning our hand to jobs around the home! The August Bank Holiday will potentially see hundreds, maybe even thousands, of DIY fanatics attempting to make improvements to their home, before the winter months kick in. Unfortunately, DIY improvements tend to come hand in hand with accidental damage, to either the property and/or the homeowner, delaying the workload and causing unanticipated stress.

From time to time, DIY improvements can cause unwarranted accidental damage, either to the fixtures and fittings of the property, or, more seriously, to the home-owners, themselves. Accidental damage can cause havoc, with major delays to the work being carried out, as well as causing damage to expensive carpets, sofas and curtains. It is therefore a wise move to handle all decorating jobs with great care. For example, not everybody will take time to cover expensive carpets when painting a room, which could result in spilled paint, causing significant damage. It makes sense to survey your surroundings before embarking on any decorating job within the home, big or small. It might be worthwhile to do a checklist of works to be carried out, noting smart measures that you can take to ensure the safety of your home.


It is not just the big tasks that go wrong

Whilst it not unheard of for complex tasks, such as knocking down internal walls, to go wrong, it is often forgotten that even the more simpler DIY tasks can prove to be tricky - for example, putting up pictures, drilling holes or insulating the loft. Such tasks have room for error and lead to hundreds or thousands of pounds worth of damage.

An example of this would be accidentally drilling into a water pipe, causing water to flood the property. This sort of accident could potentially cause devastating amounts of damage and, if the structure of a house is seriously damaged, it could cost thousands of pounds to correct.




Am I covered?

Not all home contents insurance policies will cover accidental damage and it has been found that many homeowners are unsure whether accidental damage is covered by their policy. If you are planning any sort of DIY project, it is a good idea to get in contact with your insurance provider and check whether you are covered for accidental damage.

Any major projects being planned (such as adding an extension to the house or converting the loft, or any large works which may change the dimensions of your home), should always be highlighted to your insurer. Such major projects can alter the risk profile of the home and can invalidate your insurance, if your insurer has not received prior notification.


Common DIY disasters

According to research, some of the most common DIY mishaps include:

-         Spilling paint on carpets or floors.

-         Falling through ceilings.

-         Smashing windows.

-         Knocking through walls, causing structural damage.

-         Drilling holes in the wrong places, i.e. electrical wires or water pipes.

-         Starting electrical fires.



Avoiding accidents

It is unlikely to be able to prevent all accidents from occurring, but it always a good idea to try your best to prevent damage to your property, yourself or others. After all, prevention is better than cure. Tips to avoid accidental damage include:

·        Make sure to use the correct tools required for the job.

·        Never leave cans/trays of paint uncovered.

·        Cover furniture around you that can be easily damaged during home renovations.

·        If attempting electrical repairs, please remember to unplug all appliances before starting work.

·        If a job does not seem straight forward, be sure to contact professionals for help.


Not sure whether your policy covers you for accidental damage? Get in touch now.