Social media is now the number one source for DIY-ers looking for tips and tricks (34%), but new research from Halifax reveals seven in ten (69%) are making a hash of the hacks they find online. As the cold nights draw in and with the tapered stamp duty holiday behind us, homeowners may be looking to improve rather than move. But just one in ten (11%) who have insurance contacted their provider when a home project went wrong.
Saving pennies or costing pounds
With home improvement tricks splashed across the internet, inspired Brits who fancy themselves as the next Handy Andy are getting their overalls on and paintbrushes out. Thinking they can do it themselves for less is the top reason given for trying an online DIY hack (47%). For just over a quarter (27%), it’s about being a more conscious consumer, by reusing and revamping instead of buying new. Whatever the intentions, a DIY slip-up could be costly – especially for those who fail to keep their insurer updated.
More than one in four (27%) who’ve botched a DIY hack were forced to fork out and replace items their efforts left damaged. A quarter (25%) had to throw something out because it was beyond repair and the same proportion ended up bringing in a professional to fix their blunders (25%).
Insurance to the rescue
Some mishaps, like spilling a tub of paint on a carpet or sofa, could actually be covered under accidental damage. Yet two in five (40%) home renovators did not contact their insurer after a DIY home project went wrong. A fifth (18%) said they didn’t think their insurer would pay for their mistake. A further 22% were worried it could push up their premiums.
Some home projects could actually leave homeowners unprotected if they fail to update their insurer. Anything structural or which could affect the value of your home needs to be passed on to providers. Likewise, jobs that could damage valuables or leave your home more vulnerable also need to be shared.
Tim Downes, Senior Claims Manager, at Halifax Home Insurance said:
“With ‘how to’ DIY tricks plastered across the internet, it’s no surprise to see homeowners take on increasingly ambitious DIY jobs. Whether you’re trying to save money, jump on the upcycling trend or want a fun project, social media has become a hub of inspiration for home and interiors renovations.
“It’s not always as easy as it looks though, and many enthusiastic amateurs are making a hash of these DIY hacks. Even if it’s partly your fault, your insurer may well cover you for accidental damage. However, not letting your insurer know about certain types of changes could actually invalidate your cover.
“Ahead of any renovation, it’s important to understand your insurance policy and know what cover you have. And sometimes, it’s better to just call in the professionals.”