DON’T Do It Yourself: The DIY disasters that could cost you thousands to put right

Paint Stripper

The tradesman comparison site, HaMuch.com, has looked at some of the worst DIY disasters around the home and how much you could be out of pocket if your DIY attempt goes wrong and you need to call in a qualified tradesman to put it right.

On average, a third of the jobs posted on HaMuch.com are from those looking to rectify a dodgy DIY job, but the two areas of the home that should never be tackled by a DIY amateur in the first place are gas or electrical work.

Electrics

Even the most basic of electric jobs such as changing a switch could be potentially fatal but bodging a re-wire could see you fork out as much as £4,500 to rectify the job, while replacing a consumer unit could cost up to £500, and a new light fixture alone could set you back £50.

Gas/Heating

In the very worst case, a mistake involving gas could cost you your house and your life, and in the best-case scenario, calling someone in to repair, replace or service your boiler can cost in the region of £3,000. A gas fire, cooker or hob repair can also stretch into the hundreds and cost as much as £400 to set right. When it comes to has, it’s better to bite the bullet and go pro as tinkering with it yourself can increase the cost if more damage is done.

Even something as simple as a leaky radiator can cost you £300 for professional help should your attempted fix fail or cause further damage.

Plumbing

Exacerbating a plumbing issue with your own DIY fix may not be as dangerous but it can get you wet and cost you in the region of £450 for a new sink and £900 to fit a new bath. Having it done right the first time around will at least save you from forking out for more sinks or baths than you needed in the first place.

Roof Cleaning

Apart from the obvious falling hazards involved in cleaning the roof or gutters, hiring a professional to fix any damage done during a DIY attempt could cost as much as £800. Less damage equals a lower cost so unless you are sure you can do it, hire someone with the right equipment and know-how.

Flooring

Flooring is one of those jobs where you often don’t realise the mess you’ve made of it until it’s far too late and most of the floor has been done. Depending on the size of the area, a professional re-fit for a tiled floor can cost £450 to £500, while professional wooden flooring can run to as much as £1,500 for a room.

Broken Windows

Broken windows are a natural event over the course of a property’s life-cycle but as well as the dangers of broken glass, a DIY bodge job can reduce your property’s security and energy efficiency costing more money in the long-run. Replacing a window after spending time and money trying it yourself can cost between £200-£400 on average.

Conservatory

You could spend many hours putting together your own conservatory in the attempt to save money but once it’s up, if it needs to come down again it will take you even more time and an average cost of £5,000 to £10,000 depending on the size and style to get a professional to do the job.

Decorating

Usually the first job we would attempt ourselves but without the right amount of love and attention, it can actually make your home look tired, shabby and amateur. A re-plastering job can cost between £350-£500 depending on the size of the room or wall, but this is money well spent if it saves you time and money on an unsatisfactory first attempt. Even hiring a painter can cost up to £500 per room so fixing a dodgy paint job can still hit you hard financially.

Founder and CEO of HaMuch.com, Tarquin Purdie, commented:

“All too often, the cost of hiring a professional can be a put-off and can cause many to tackle issues around the home themselves in order to save some money.

This has become increasingly more prevalent due to the abundance of online tutorials and how-to guides, but making a mess of it not only wastes your valuable time and money but in some cases, it can be potentially fatal. Yes, hiring a professional will always set you back financially, but this cost is far more palatable when you haven’t wasted money on materials and tools trying to do it yourself first.

Our advice is to always weigh up the danger, the knowledge base you have and consider the price of the job. If the job costs a lot, to begin with, it’s a good indicator that it will be difficult or dangerous, requires a professional or will be extremely laborious, and in some cases, it can be all three.

In this instance, and always when dealing with gas or electric, shopping around for the most competitive quote and hiring a qualified tradesman should be your first port of call. For the jobs that will cost less to rectify should you make a hash of it, such as re-decorating, it’s always worth having a crack yourself if you have the time and patience.”

DIY attempted job
Potential DIY issue / disaster
Potential repairs required
Potential costs
Source / Link
Heating – replace radiator
Issues with leaking and radiator not working
fit radiator properly – fix leaks
£100-£300
Gas – repairing or servicing a gas boiler
Further damage to boiler – potentially very dangerous
Fix / re-fit / replace boiler
£400-£3,000
Gas – repairing a gas fire, cooker or hob
Further damage to the appliance – potentially very dangerous
Fix / re-fit
£150-£400
Electrics – rewiring
Bad wiring job – potentially very dangerous
Partial rewiring or damage fix
£2,500-£4,500
Electrics – replace light fitting
Cause damage to light fitting / non-working
Replace light fitting
£30-£50
Electrics – fix / upgrade consumer unit
Damage to unit – not working
New unit
£300-£500
Plumbing – replace sink
Issues with leaking
Fix / ref-fit
£350-£450
Plumbing – fit bathroom
Issues with leaking
Fix / ref-fit
£700-£900
Decorating – re plastering
Poor finish
Re-plastering wall / room
£350-£500 (variable depending on room size)
Painting and decorating
Poor finish
Re-decorate
£300-£500 (variable depending on room size)
Roof cleaning
Potentially dangerous – certain equipment needed
Professional roof cleaning
£450-£800
Building conservatory
Poor finish – issues with weather sealing
Professional fitting and sealing
£5,000-£10,000 (depends on size and style)
Wooden flooring
Poor finish – poor fit
Professional re-fit / fix
£800-£1,500 (depends on area size)
Tiling
Poor finish – poor fit – leaking issues
Professional re-fit / fix
£450-£500 (depends on area size)
Broken window replacement
Poorly fitted – not sealed
Professional re-fit / fix
£200-£400

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