Underestimating the cost of work can be expensive
With continually soaring house prices, over a fifth of first time buyers who are eager to get on the property ladder are turning to lower priced properties that need ‘doing up’ and cutting costs by carrying out the work themselves, spending £4,600 in the process. However, on top of the initial cost of the work more than a quarter (27%) of new home-owners have forked out extra cash for a professional contractor to fix their mistakes – costing an average £2,358.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the average price paid by a first time buyer stands at £180,677** having risen 8.6% in the past year, with a typical new home-owner paying £1,114 on stamp duty – half as much as they are paying fixing DIY disasters.
Separate research among members of electrical contracting industry body NICEIC*** has shown a summer spike in call outs to fix DIY mistakes, with nearly a fifth (17%) of contractors reporting an increase in requests during this time of year.
First time buyers are also shunning relaxing summer breaks and taking nearly a week’s holiday allowance (4.8 days) to carry out DIY and home renovation work.
Top tip! Make sure your home insurance includes accidental damage just in case your DIY attempts go amiss and for bigger jobs look look at home renovation insurance
|Most common DIY projects undertaken||Most common DIY disasters fixed by contractors|
|1. Painting and decorating||1. Electrical wiring|
|2. Garden landscaping||2. Kitchen and bathroom installation|
|3. Kitchen and bathroom installation||3. Appliance installation and repair|
|4. Carpentry||4. Building work|
|5. Painting and decorating||5. Loft conversion|
We asked our experts for their advice to home-owners
Annie Plaskett, Towergate spokesperson said:
“Given the cost to get on the housing ladder, it’s not surprising first time buyers are looking for cheaper properties which require work. It also means they are looking to save costs on employing contractors choosing to do it themselves or use family and friends. However, as our research shows, undertaking ambitious projects with little to no formal training can leave new home-owners seriously out of pocket. To make matters worse, often accidents and mistakes aren't covered by standard home insurance policies, making it more important to speak with your insurer before putting hammer to nail.”
Tony Cable, NICEIC spokesperson commented:
“Have-a-go heroes tempted to undertake the work themselves should think twice and seek professional advice, as it could end in disaster. Most DIY jobs are not as simple as they may seem and mistakes with electrical wiring, for example, could be fatal. Not using properly qualified trades people is not only dangerous, it’s a false economy and could end up costing the home-owner thousands of pounds and a lot of hassle to put right.”