Homeowners admit to DIY disasters - with the average costing more than £2,000 to put right

Ellen Manning

Doing a bit of DIY might sound simple enough, but for many of us it can cause more problems than it fixes – with nearly one in 10 homeowners experiencing a DIY disaster.

According to a survey by Co-op Insurance, 9% of homeowners have had a do-it-yourself project go wrong, with the average cost of correcting the mistake put at £2,271.

Generally, the most common mistake was underestimating the time or cost of a project, with what appeared to be a “simple” job becoming more complicated than expected and the budget spiralling out of control.

DIY disaster – getting paint on carpets and floors is one of the common mistakes people reported (Pictures: Getty)

Other common mistakes included burst water pipes, paint splatters on carpets and flooring, walls damaged by attempts to put up shelves, and people injuring themselves.

And following DIY mishaps, two-fifths (40%) of people said they would be likely to call in a professional builder or handyman in the future.

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Women were more likely to say a DIY project had gone awry, with 10% of women admitting to this compared with 8% of men, while older people were less likely than their younger counterparts to admit a job had gone wrong – 6% of over-55s compared to 14% of people aged 25 to 30.

Geographically, London, Northern Ireland and North West England were the regions where people were most likely to say they had suffered a DIY disaster, while people in East Anglia were the least likely to have had a mishap.

Battle of the sexes – women were more likely to admit that a DIY project had gone wrong, the survey found

Caroline Hunter, head of home insurance at Co-op Insurance, said: “Accidental damage may cover disasters such as spilt paint on carpets or burst water pipes, however more extensive home improvement projects, such as changes to the buildings structure might invalidate your home insurance policy, if it isn’t completed by a professional builder – so it’s best to check before you start.”

Around 1,000 people took part in the survey.

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