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DIY disasters: The cost of not hiring a professional!

Many homeowners like to try their hand at DIY from time to time, but some enthusiasts may be biting off a bit more than they can chew. Our recent study shows many Brits are attempting much more extensive home improvements, such as loft conversions or kitchen replacements.

If not done properly however, DIY can cause expensive damage to a property, leaving the owner wishing they’d called in a professional to do the job instead, and paying out even more to get it fixed.

We’ve teamed up with Holly Herbert, Head of Content at, to reveal the jobs which can cost you the most if done badly and polled the nation’s homeowners to see how many had found themselves in a DIY disaster.

 1. Loft conversion

Costs up to £35,000 to fix, attempted by 5% of homeowners

Holly Herbert, from, said: “No work should be done on a loft conversion without confirming that safety regulations are in place and that the room will be legal, as this can waste a huge amount of time and money and result in you having to have the whole thing redone. You may also cause more damage than good, especially if you damage the roof or put a foot through the rafters.”

James Wilson, 68 from Glasgow, said: “A few years ago I decided to try and make my loft a usable space. Unfortunately, whilst I was working on the flooring, I fell through the ceiling causing thousands of pounds in damage. Luckily I wasn’t hurt!” 

2. Knocking down a wall/part of a wall

Costs up to £20,000 to fix, attempted by 10% of homeowners

Holly said: “If you knock down a wall and don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you run the risk of your property suffering from subsidence. If you try to knock through a supporting wall, you also run the risk of your house collapsing, and losing everything. You should never knock a wall through without having it examined first to ensure there will be no other damage to the rest of the property.”

3. Replacing a kitchen

Costs up to £10,000 to fix, attempted by 8% of homeowners

Holly said: “Installing a new kitchen can cost around £5,000 depending on the size and materials used. If you take this into your own hands and damage the worktops, cabinets, and walls while doing so, you may need to replace these. Aside from added costs for materials, you’ll also need to factor in the labour costs, which could as much as double the price of your new kitchen.”


4. Replacing a bathroom

Costs up to £10,000 to fix, attempted by 7% of homeowners

Holly said: “This can cost you anywhere between £3,000-£10,000 depending on the damage that you do. If you have to replace the materials that you bought for the job or cause damage to the plumbing and electrics in the bathroom, this will drive the cost up.”

Jonathan Larkin, 26 from Norwich, said: “We tried fitting a new bathroom a year or so ago, and thought we’d done a good job. That was until we realised that the sealant we had borrowed from my dad had been out of date and we had leaks all over the bathroom wherever we used it.”

If you’re a professional who has been hired to replace a bathroom, you can get your equipment here, from cubicle fittings to toilet roll holders.

5. Installing cabinets

Costs up to £4,000 to fix, attempted by 18% of homeowners

Holly said: “You may cause damage to both the cabinet and the wall that you’re attaching it to, meaning you will need to replace the cabinet, fix the wall, and then pay labour costs for this to be refitted. Depending on the amount of cabinets, materials used and size of them, this can cost you around £4,000.”

Tradesmen taking on the job can get their cabinet furniture and hardware from here.

6. Laying floors

Costs up to £3,500 to fix, attempted by 18% of homeowners

Holly said: “This will depend on the size of the room and the material that you’ve chosen for the flooring. If you lay incorrectly you can damage the material, meaning you must pay to replace it. To do this for the whole floor, this can cost you anything from £1,500-£3,500.”

Jessica Preston, 61, from London, said: “Myself and my husband were laying some new flooring when we accidentally drilled through a water pipe. This ended up flooding the whole room and causing damage to the walls which we then had to have fixed. What should have been a fairly cheap job cost us a fortune!”


7. Installing a light fixture

Costs up to £3,000 to fix, attempted by 28% of homeowners

Holly said: “Replacing bad electrics could just be the cost of replacing the fitting, but it could also involve having to fix the wiring completely. Electrical work can also be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing and is a health risk. If this goes dramatically wrong, rewiring a 2-bed house can cost around £3,000 and 5-8 days”

8. Running power into an adjacent structure

Costs up to £3,000 to fix, attempted by 11% of homeowners

Holly said: “If you cause damage to the wiring in your house doing this, you could need the whole house rewired, which can cost around £3,000. It is also very dangerous if not done correctly and could result in a fire or explosion.”

9. Replacing a fuse box

Costs up to £3,000 to fix, attempted by 10% of homeowners

Holly said: “This is extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. You could cause damage to the wiring in your house, which can cost over £3000 to fix, along with the risk of fire or explosion. Any work with electricity should only be carried out by a professional.”

10. Installing a shower

Costs up to £3,000 to fix, attempted by 8% of homeowners

Holly said: “You may cause damage to the water pipe, the shower itself and the tiling in the bathroom, which can cost you up to £3,000 to fully repair and replace. If your shower is electric, it can also be very dangerous.”

Professionals who are installing a shower can get the hardware they need here.

If you’re a professional who has been hired to take on any of these jobs, have a look at what we can offer to help:

Monday 16 November, 2020

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