Break out the tools and dust off the brushes, it’s time to spruce up your home. But could you be exposing your home and yourself to potential mishaps? Take a look at our countdown of five common DIY disasters that could happen to you this Easter…
1. Damaged or marked furniture
It can be all too tempting to cut corners when you’re eager to get something done. But if you don’t move things out of the way or if you attempt to move a large and cumbersome item, chances are it’s going to get damaged. Paint dripped on grandma’s antique chest of drawers, wardrobes bent by being dragged, fully laden, across the floor – just don’t risk it. Cover furniture with dust sheets when redecorating, or better still, clear plastic sheets, as that way you can see what is under there and family members won’t be tempted to sit on anything that isn’t designed to take their weight.
2. Damaged or marked flooring or carpet
In the line of fire before your furniture are your floors. When undertaking a project, it can be all too easy to forget to protect your flooring from hazards such as dripped paint, spilt varnish or dropped tools. Use clean dustsheets as floor protection, and don’t forget to line your floor with masking tape if you’re painting the skirting boards.
3. Damaged ceiling
Whether you splash paint, chip plaster or even put your foot through it, a ceiling disaster can be expensive to fix. You can’t do much to cover your ceiling, so you’ll just have to be careful when painting or wielding tools near it, and you should be careful in a loft space if it has not been properly fitted with a floor. For attic and roof repairs, call in an expert. Even if you stick to the solid beams there is no way of knowing what is secure and what isn’t and it can be all too easy to trip and fall. A DIY disaster that ends in a hospital trip is a disaster indeed.
4. Damaged/marked walls
Damaged walls can be a common occurrence in many household DIY projects. This can be easily done when painting and decorating, putting up shelves, assembling flat pack furniture or hanging pictures. Even the simplest task can have unseen implications, so be careful not to rush into a project without thinking it through. If you’re painting one area, mark it off with masking tape and don’t overload your brush to avoid any drips. When drilling, be certain that you’re well away from any power lines or pipes by using a simple stud finder. Handy for detecting wooden and metal studs, as well as electrical wiring, stud finders can be cheaply purchased from hardware stores.
5. Underestimating time and cost
The most damaging mistake when carrying out DIY is to underestimate the time and cost involved. Projects that run over-time or over-budget with spiralling costs and delays, can lead to damage to your home. You might be tempted to cut corners if a project is getting out of hand and end up injuring yourself or damaging your property. If you’re undertaking a big project, before you start, draw up a plan of what you’re going to do and what tools you’ll need. Be honest with yourself, can you really do this? It might be quicker and cheaper in the long run if you call in the professionals and put the kettle on.
A nation of DIYers
A recent survey* found that 19% of Brits consider themselves to have poor DIY skills, with only 13% thinking they were any good. Ranked according to region, Bristol took the crown for the fewest negative results from DIY projects. Bottom of the pile was Birmingham, with 22% saying they had had to visit hospital as a result of dodgy DIY.
After a long day, coming back to a beautiful home is one of life’s true pleasures, so we’d never want to discourage you from aspiring to your dream home. That’s why we’re here to pick up the pieces if something does go wrong during your DIY project this spring^.
* Insight DIY
^Purchase our accidental damage cover to protect you against these DIY disasters.