How to avoid DIY disasters

Melanie Wright
Written by: Melanie Wright
Posted on: 12 April 2016

If you’re planning on tackling those DIY jobs you’ve been meaning to do for ages, don’t rush in without plenty of preparation first.

Whether it’s fixing a leaking shower, replacing broken kitchen or bathroom tiles, or simply a spot of redecorating, a bit of careful planning can help prevent DIY disasters and ensure you finish the job on time.

A good starting point is to work out exactly which tools you are going to need. You might be ready to get your hands dirty, but if you haven’t got the right nails or screws, or the correct paintbrushes, it’ll hold things up and mean another trip to the DIY store.

Do your sums carefully before you begin too, to help you establish exactly how much the job is going to cost you. Recent research by Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Cards found that people in the UK have collectively spent over £22 billion on DIY projects in their homes over the past 12 months, forking out an average of £1,085 each.

Research your job

Make sure you know exactly what you are doing before you get started.

If you’ve never grouted tiles, for example, check out YouTube video guides or swot up on DIY books first. If you simply dive in and guess how to go about things, the chances are you’ll end up having to do the job again, which could cost you more than if you’d hired a tradesman in the first place.

There are loads of websites offering DIY and home improvement advice. Some of those worth looking at include, and

Most DIY superstores also have lots of useful information on their websites too. For example, B&Q’s site at has guides, calculators and videos to help ensure your DIY projects go smoothly.

Don’t take unnecessary risks

Never tackle anything that is dangerous or needs a professional, such as installing electric light fittings or complicated plumbing jobs.

Not only could you do some serious damage to your home, but you could also end up badly hurting yourself. You can find a qualified plumber near you at or a registered electrician at

And whatever you do, don’t have a drink before you undertake any DIY job. Worrying research from Direct Line found that 3.3 million people admit to having consumed two or more alcoholic drinks before attempting some home improvements.

A spokesman for Direct Line home insurance said: “There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks at home, but DIY while over the limit is an unnecessary risk. Not only are people more likely to injure themselves, but the probability of making a costly mistake is also much higher. Home improvements can be tricky at the best of times, which is why a clear head, plenty of time and a big dose of patience are an absolute must.”

spilt paint

spilt paint

Check your home insurance

Before embarking on any projects around your home, you should also always give your insurance small print the once over to make sure you are protected in case your DIY skills aren't quite as good as you thought they were.

Spilling paint on the carpet, for example, could mean you have to fork out for a new one yourself if you haven’t got cover for accidental damage.

Most home insurance providers don’t include accidental damage as standard in their basic policies, but you can usually add it for a small additional premium. However, certain insurers provide a range of different policies, some of which do include accidental damage meaning you don’t have to arrange it as an extra.

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