Bank holiday season is well under way and with another two long weekends this month, you might be planning to spend some of the extra time off carrying out a few DIY jobs.
Bank holidays are often one of the most popular times for a spot of DIY, with many of us choosing to improve our properties rather than face the steep cost of a move.
Here are some dos and don’ts you’re planning on tackling any home improvements over the next few weekends.
Check your insurance small print
Whether you’re planning on putting up some shelves, or something more ambitious like re-tiling the bathroom, make sure you swot up on your home insurance small print before you begin.
Most home buildings and contents insurance don’t automatically cover accidental damage, so if, for example, you knock over a tin of paint or drill through a water pipe, you’ll have to fit the bill for any repairs yourself.
If your policy doesn’t include accidental damage, contact your insurer who should be able to add it for an extra premium. Accidental damage is usually defined as ‘physical damage that is caused suddenly by an external event and that is unexpected and not deliberate’, so adding this to your home insurance should therefore protect you against any mishaps.
Vet tradespeople carefully
If you are hiring tradespeople to help you carry out work in your home, check that they have the relevant insurance in place case anything goes wrong and that they can issue the correct certificates to show any work has been completed safely.
Review your level of cover
If your home improvements increase the value of the property, you may need to review your buildings sum insured once the work is finished.
Start without planning
It might be tempting to go in all guns blazing if you’ve a particular DIY project in mind, but it’s vital to plan any work properly. For example, make sure you have all the correct tools and materials you’ll need so you don’t end up having to make a last-minute dash to the DIY shop.
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You should also check where any pipework and cables are before you start drilling, or you project could end up costing you a lot more than you’d intended.
Blow your budget
Make sure you have a clear idea of exactly how much you can afford to spend on your project before you begin, and try not to exceed this amount. Be realistic and do your sums carefully, as there’s no point allocating only a very small proportion of your savings to the job if it’s almost certain to exceed this amount.
Tackle jobs you’re not qualified for
Get the professionals in if you are planning on any bigger structural, electrical or plumbing changes. Attempting this sort of project yourself if you’re not properly qualified is not only dangerous but could invalidate your home insurance.