Top tips to crack your spring DIY to-do list

Now spring is here, there's never been a better time to get your home up to scratch on all those DIY endeavours you've been putting off.

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If you’re planning to spend the Easter break tackling DIY, we’ve come up with some top tips that should come in handy.

  • Be an ‘early bird’ - Start work early in the day so that if something does go wrong you’ve got time to fix it or get to the shops for additional supplies.
  • Prepare to succeed - Take time to prepare your workspace by covering the floor and furniture with dustsheets. It’s best to move as much out of the room as possible.
  • Dress appropriately – DIY can get messy, so wear clothes you don’t care too much about and that protect your body.
  • Be safe not sorry - Don’t do anything you feel unsure about. Research the task beforehand by looking at videos online. 
  • Climb with care - If working at height, make sure there’s someone around to keep an eye on your ladder. Take your time and use a bucket to carry tools up and down.
  • Beware the danger zone - Unless you’re qualified, leave work on electrics or gas to the professionals. Never tamper with circuits, and if you’re changing light switches or plug sockets, ensure the mains electricity is turned off at the consumer unit.
  • Pick quality over convenience - It’s worth investing in decent tools. You don’t necessarily need to buy the most expensive ones, but the cheapest tools are often made of weak materials and can break easily.
  • Remember: practice makes perfect - If you haven’t done a job or used a particular tool before, practise on scrap material before tackling the real thing. 

Change for the better

Home improvements can make your home look better and in some cases add value to your property, so it’s best to keep your home insurer informed of any changes you make.

There are two main reasons for this. First, if you increase the value of your bricks and mortar (say, by adding an extension) or make room for more possessions, you need to check the ‘sums insured’ on your buildings and contents policies are still accurate.

It’s easy to underestimate the value of your contents so it’s always worth checking in with your insurer to make sure you’re adequately covered. For example, if you’ve forked out on new curtains or carpets, and your claim goes over the amount you’re insured for, you might not receive a pay-out for your new home furnishings.

Next, you need to decide whether the work you’ve done makes it more or less likely that you’ll make a claim.

For example, if you added extra access points to the property – additional doors and windows – you’ll have to tell your contents insurer so it can reassess the level of risk.

It might be a case of fitting door and window locks to an approved specification to make sure your premium isn’t adversely affected.

Which improvements can affect your home insurance?

Whether you’re planning on getting the paintbrushes and ladder out or commandeering a drill to install a smoke alarm, check out our handy list on DIY pursuits and their effects on your policy.

 

DIY ACTIVITY  WILL THE JOB AFFECT MY INSURANCE PREMIUMS?
 Painting and wallpapering  No difference
 Fitting a new or upgraded smoke alarm  Reduce
 Upgrading carpets or flooring  Increase
 Rewiring electrics/ installing additional lights  Increase
 Upgrading security features on doors  Reduce
 Removing tall trees from the garden  Reduce
 Installing security lighting  Reduce
 Painting the outside of the house  No difference
 Loft conversion  Increase
 Renovating the kitchen or room  Increase

 

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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