A quarter of UK home owners call in builders to fix their DIY

UK property owners are spending an additional £42 million a year to salvage work around the home that they’ve tried to do themselves or abandoned midway through.

New research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) shows that more than a quarter of home owners admit they have started and then abandoned home improvement jobs, with 30% calling in a tradesperson to finish or rescue the job, costing an additional £871 on average than it would have cost if they’d hired professionals at the start.

Some 27% claim they have ‘given up’ on a job ever being completed with 19 months identified as the average length of time before a job is abandoned while 40% admit unfinished projects have caused arguments at home.

Beyond this, almost 60% don’t even bother starting the work in the first place, continually putting off work that they’ve planned, such as kitchen and bathroom upgrades, painting and replacing windows.

One in five say their attempts at home improvement projects have been ‘disastrous’, with 62% of these admitting that DIY building blunders have reduced the value of their property and a further 18% believing their properties are now harder to sell.

The biggest disasters came from painting the property themselves, self-installing a kitchen or a bathroom or trying to landscape their garden.

When looking at the main reasons home owners have dragged their heels, 55% say they are worried about the cost, while 30% claim they haven’t had time to organise the work. An indecisive 20% can’t decide or agree on what they want, while 17% haven’t been able to find someone to do the work.

‘While it’s noble that people want to have a go at home improvement projects themselves, our research confirms that if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re risking not just increased costs, but also your property value not to mention your health and safety when it comes to serious builds and renovations,’ said Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB.

‘Unfinished work and botched DIY attempts are increasingly cited as reasons people turn to FMB members, so we urge home owners to be realistic about what they are capable of doing,’ he added.