Now spring is in full force, there’s never been a better time to get your home up to scratch on all those DIY endeavours you’ve put off over the colder months.
We’ve teamed up with DIY expert Jo Behari to provide you with some top DIY tips, which will come in handy, especially if your bank holidays are being used for home improvements.
Here are Jo’s failsafe tips:
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 you must make sure you keep your home insurer informed of any changes you make.
Our research found that structural changes to your home, such as fitting new bathrooms, upgrading front or back door locks and adding new windows are in the top 10 most common home improvements over the last year.
But over half of Brits (52%) we surveyed admitted they wouldn’t inform their home insurance provider about improvements to their home.
Similarly, almost a third (31%) didn’t know that home improvements can impact their home insurance policy, while one in 10 (11%) believe there is no impact whatsoever
Why do I need to tell my home insurance provider about DIY changes?
Two main reasons. 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, you if 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|
|Renovating the kitchen or room||Increase|
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