Research reveals the cost of bungled DIY by UK home owners

As home owners in the UK gear up for a bank holiday of DIY, new research shows that bungled workmanship leads to 90% paying the cost rather than claiming on insurance.

Britain’s amateur handymen are set for a disastrous May bank holiday, according to research from the Nationwide Building Society and just 10% are likely to recover the costs of their mistakes by claiming on their insurance.

But many people are completely unaware they can claim for accidental damage caused in this way, according to Nationwide’s head of general insurance, Martyn Dyson, when some 80% carry out home improvements themselves rather than asking a professional for help.

Many undertake manageable tasks with 70% opting to do some wallpapering and painting, 65% bleeding a radiator and 62% improving the garden. Some tackle more onerous DIY with 24% knocking down walls, 21% laying loft insulation, 12% fitting a new kitchen or fitting a new bathroom.

The research reveals the top disasters. Some 35% suffer spillages, including paint, glue or white spirit, 22% marking the walls, and 10% damage to furniture, breaking a window and damage to flooring.

Some 90% of those who admitted to home improvement horrors ended up paying the cost of their mistakes themselves rather than claiming on their home insurance. And with 19% of people with DIY horror stories causing over £200 of damage, not knowing what your home insurance covers you for can prove quite costly. 

‘The May bank holiday is prime time for getting stuck into jobs around the home you’ve been putting off.  Unfortunately, you can end up causing more damage than good, especially if you’re inexperienced,’ said Dyson.

‘Nationwide’s advice to anyone looking to do home improvements this weekend is to not rush into it, stop and think about the job in hand, be realistic about your capabilities and make sure you are covered if things do go wrong, as not all policies include accidental damage like Nationwide’s Home Insurance. As the survey shows, many people may be completely unaware they can claim for accidental damage in this way,’ he added.