First time buyers considering a ‘fixer-upper’ – a lower-priced, usually tired or rundown, property that they renovate themselves – could save time, hassle and money by bringing in professional help to avoid expensive DIY disasters.
That’s according to the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC).
Research suggests that a fifth of first-time buyers are buying renovation projects to work on themselves in a bid to save on contractor costs.
However, the NICEIC has found that over a quarter of these have-a-go DIY heroes have had to call in professional contractors to fix mistakes, costing £2,358 on average, which is more than double the cost of stamp duty on a typical first home (£1,114).
The building contractor industry body also noted a summer spike in callouts to these DIY gaffs, with close to a fifth (17 per cent) of contractors reporting a hike in requests around this time of year.
For almost one in twenty (4.8 per cent), money spent on resolving these blunders was meant to go on a relaxing summer break.
In most cases, buyers are completing DIY without incident, with painting and decorating, garden landscaping, and carpentry being the most commonly attempted projects.
It’s only when projects become more ambitious and specialist that blunders start occurring. Alarmingly, the most common DIY disaster attended by contractors concerned electrical wiring, followed by kitchen and bathroom installation, appliance installation, building work and loft conversion.
Considering how costly it is to get on the housing ladder, it’s unsurprising that first-time buyers then try to save where they can, but sometimes it’s best just to swallow your pride and call in a professional.
An NICEIC spokesman said: “Most DIY jobs are not as simple as they may seem and mistakes with electrical wiring, for example, could be fatal.
“Not using properly qualified trades people is not only dangerous, it’s a false economy and could end up costing the homeowner thousands of pounds and a lot of hassle to put right.”