Botched DIY 'doubles building bill'

Harvey Ellingham Harvey Ellingham has been in the building trade for 20 years

Related Stories

The cost of home improvements could double if professional builders have to solve botched DIY jobs first, a building expert has warned.

Harvey Ellingham, boss of Home Improvements Guarantee, said that pride often led to DIY disasters at this time of year.

A survey, by the Nationwide Building Society, suggests that DIY projects cost an average of £3,342.

But one expert told BBC News that enthusiasts often overspent.

Jo Behari, a former City worker who founded Home Jane, a team of handywomen and home improvement specialists, said that spring was a good time to look out for bargains.

'Appetite'

BBC housing calculator

Renting example
  • Lets you see where you can afford to live - and if it would it be cheaper to rent or buy
  • Enter how many bedrooms, which end of the market and how much you want to pay each month
  • As you move the payment slider, parts of the UK light up to show you where you can afford
  • Based on pricing and rental data from residential property analysts Hometrack

This time of year is the most popular for homeowners to start DIY projects.

The Nationwide survey suggested that nearly half of those asked were planning a project and were willing to spend thousands of pounds.

This average bill increased for the older generation, with those aged over 55 spending £4,045.

Richard Napier, director for savings and mortgages at the Nationwide, said there was an "appetite" for people to invest in their homes.

However, 7% of people aged 18 to 24 were willing to use a credit card to fund this work, with another 4% happy to turn to payday loans to finance it.

Homework

Mr Ellingham, who has been in the building trade for 20 years, said that people risked a big bill by failing to do their homework.

Jo Behari Jo Behari says that DIY enthusiasts do not need to spend a fortune on tools

Overlooking an extension being built by professionals at a home in Sutton, west London, he said that people risked damage to their homes and their health if they did not plan DIY work sufficiently.

"If you are going to put a nail into a wall, you need to know what is behind that wall. If you are going to put a nail into the floor, you need to know whether there are pipes under there," he said.

"It is common sense, but some people believe they know what they are doing and go full-steam ahead."

But mistakes are not just made by people who only work on their own homes. A survey by the TrustMark accredited trader scheme found that incompetent tradesmen have cost UK homeowners an estimated £1.9bn over the last year.

Saving tips

Ms Behari said that some DIY enthusiasts failed to learn the basics about their home and were too embarrassed to admit they had a problem.

She also said that people did not need to spend as much as they did at this time of year.

She suggested:

  • Looking online for free guides about basic DIY work
  • Searching for bargains during holiday weekends in home improvements stores
  • Spending a sensible amount on tools. For example, a £50 electric drill was sufficient for most homeowners

"Make sure you don't buy ridiculously expensive tools; I know it is easy to get carried away," she said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Business Live

  1.  
    06:55: Drones
    drone

    The House of Lords has called for a tracking system for all drones and their users. A report by the EU Committee of the House of Lords described drones - or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, to give them their official title - as an "exciting new technology", but warned that their use poses risks to the general public and other airspace users.

     
  2.  
    06:44: China growth BBC Radio 4

    China's 7% economic growth target for 2015 is about "sending a message" particularly to local governments, which look to Beijing for guidance in setting their own targets. But at the the same time the government is very concerned about the level of debt in the banking sector - something it is trying to address, Duncan Innes-Ker, China analyst with the Economist intelligence Unit, tells Today.

     
  3.  
    06:30: AbbVie

    Big news from the pharma world overnight as US company AbbVie announced a deal to buy leukemia drugmaker Pharmacyclics for $21bn (£13.8bn). It appears to have won the prize from under the nose of Johnson & Johnson, which some reports say was close to a deal.

     
  4.  
    06:20: Brazil economy Radio 5 live
    Copacabana beach

    The Brazilian currency - the real - has hit a 10-year low after the central bank raised interest rates by half a point to a stonking 12.75% overnight. The BBC's Daniel Gallas in Sao Paulo tells Wake Up to Money that the country could tip into recession this year as the government embarks on an austerity drive, raising taxes and cutting spending.

     
  5.  
    06:11: Interest rates Radio 5 live

    It's been six whole years since the Bank of England cut the base rate to 0.5%. That's been good for borrowers, but not so great for savers - of which there are many more after all. Vivan Slattery, an independent financial adviser, tells Wake Up To Money many of her clients have stayed in cash but are now looking at alternatives given that rates do not seem set to increase sharply anytime soon - particularly as many mortgage holders are now on the standard variable rate.

     
  6.  
    06:05: China growth Radio 5 live

    China has announced that its target growth rate for 2015 is 7% - down from 7.5% for last year. The BBC's Ali Moore in Singapore says the new target is not a reflection of panic in Beijing but part of its drive to lower expectations and rebase the economy to focus more on domestic demand. "It's more about quality than quantity," she adds.

     
  7.  
    Welcome to Thursday Chris Johnston Business reporter

    Good morning from me and Matthew West. Another busy day of business news coming up - we'll be here to guide you through it all. Get in touch with your comments at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on Twitter at @bbcbusiness.

     

Features

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.