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DON’T Do It Yourself: The DIY disasters that could cost you thousands to put right



The tradesman comparison site,, has looked at some of the worst DIY disasters around the home and how much you could be out of pocket if your DIY attempt goes wrong and you need to call in a qualified tradesman to put it right.

On average, a third of the jobs posted on are from those looking to rectify a dodgy DIY job, but the two areas of the home that should never be tackled by a DIY amateur in the first place are gas or electrical work.


Even the most basic of electric jobs such as changing a switch could be potentially fatal but bodging a re-wire could see you fork out as much as £4,500 to rectify the job, while replacing a consumer unit could cost up to £500, and a new light fixture alone could set you back £50.


In the very worst case, a mistake involving gas could cost you your house and your life, and in the best-case scenario, calling someone in to repair, replace or service your boiler can cost in the region of £3,000. A gas fire, cooker or hob repair can also stretch into the hundreds and cost as much as £400 to set right. When it comes to has, it’s better to bite the bullet and go pro as tinkering with it yourself can increase the cost if more damage is done.

Even something as simple as a leaky radiator can cost you £300 for professional help should your attempted fix fail or cause further damage.


Exacerbating a plumbing issue with your own DIY fix may not be as dangerous but it can get you wet and cost you in the region of £450 for a new sink and £900 to fit a new bath. Having it done right the first time around will at least save you from forking out for more sinks or baths than you needed in the first place.

Roof Cleaning

Apart from the obvious falling hazards involved in cleaning the roof or gutters, hiring a professional to fix any damage done during a DIY attempt could cost as much as £800. Less damage equals a lower cost so unless you are sure you can do it, hire someone with the right equipment and know-how.


Flooring is one of those jobs where you often don’t realise the mess you’ve made of it until it’s far too late and most of the floor has been done. Depending on the size of the area, a professional re-fit for a tiled floor can cost £450 to £500, while professional wooden flooring can run to as much as £1,500 for a room.  

Broken Windows

Broken windows are a natural event over the course of a property’s life-cycle but as well as the dangers of broken glass, a DIY bodge job can reduce your property’s security and energy efficiency costing more money in the long-run. Replacing a window after spending time and money trying it yourself can cost between £200-£400 on average.


You could spend many hours putting together your own conservatory in the attempt to save money but once it’s up, if it needs to come down again it will take you even more time and an average cost of £5,000 to £10,000 depending on the size and style to get a professional to do the job.  


Usually the first job we would attempt ourselves but without the right amount of love and attention, it can actually make your home look tired, shabby and amateur. A re-plastering job can cost between £350-£500 depending on the size of the room or wall, but this is money well spent if it saves you time and money on an unsatisfactory first attempt. Even hiring a painter can cost up to £500 per room so fixing a dodgy paint job can still hit you hard financially.

Founder and CEO of, Tarquin Purdie, commented:

“All too often, the cost of hiring a professional can be a put-off and can cause many to tackle issues around the home themselves in order to save some money.

This has become increasingly more prevalent due to the abundance of online tutorials and how-to guides, but making a mess of it not only wastes your valuable time and money but in some cases, it can be potentially fatal. Yes, hiring a professional will always set you back financially, but this cost is far more palatable when you haven’t wasted money on materials and tools trying to do it yourself first.

Our advice is to always weigh up the danger, the knowledge base you have and consider the price of the job. If the job costs a lot, to begin with, it’s a good indicator that it will be difficult or dangerous, requires a professional or will be extremely laborious, and in some cases, it can be all three.

In this instance, and always when dealing with gas or electric, shopping around for the most competitive quote and hiring a qualified tradesman should be your first port of call. For the jobs that will cost less to rectify should you make a hash of it, such as re-decorating, it’s always worth having a crack yourself if you have the time and patience.” 


Cost of maintaining a buy-to-let hits £12k a year in parts of the UK



Leading property management platform, Howsy, has looked at the cost of maintaining a buy-to-let property each year and how this varies across the UK.  

Buy-to-let can be a tricky business if you don’t tackle it properly and there are a whole host of costs that can trip up the amateur investor. From the more obvious additional three percent stamp duty tax, to various other tax implications, void periods, mortgage costs, agency fees, the cost of finding a tenant, and more, Howsy’s previous research shows the average buy-to-let brings an annual return of just £2,000.

With the Government’s continued attack on UK landlords, making the most out of your investment financially can be tough and even when you consider all financial commitments for a property, many can still be caught unaware by out of the blue maintenance and repair costs. 

Buy-to-let landlords should squirrel away savings in anticipation of these events and an industry rule of thumb is an annual budget equivalent to 1% of your property’s value. 

So what does that equate to?  

Across the UK landlords should be tucking away an annual budget of £2,344 to cover repairs and maintenance, with this rising to £4,746 in London, with the North East home to the lowest repair costs at just £1,328. 

Of course, markets with higher rent returns may seem promising from an investment standpoint but the higher the reward, the higher the cost when things do go wrong. In Kensington and Chelsea, this annual 1% saving climbs to an eye-watering £12,292, hitting nearly £9,000 in both the Cities of London and Westminster.  

Outside of London, South Bucks and Elmbridge are home to the most expensive buy-to-let maintenance costs at £6,091 and £6,019 respectively.

Head to the likes of Burnley or Blaenau Gwent however, and this yearly maintenance budget drops to less than £1,000 a year.

Founder and CEO of Howsy, Calum Brannan, commented: 

“The buy-to-let sector can be a minefield for the amateur investor and now more than ever, it’s imperative that you do everything you can to maximise the return on your investment.

While technology now allows a greater level of control and service when managing your investment at a lower cost via online platforms, it isn’t just about the financial side of things. Providing a fit for purpose property is not only a legal requirement but essential to ensure a happy tenancy and a reduction in void periods.

Of course, things can go wrong and having the budget available to fix them is a must. In the worst-case scenarios, a cash pot equal to one percent of your property’s value might not be sufficient, but it should cover you for most eventualities and is a good benchmark to start on.

As with all buy-to-let investments, good preparation, organisation, and education are key, and whether you go it alone or have a great management agent if you stay on top of things, a bricks and mortar investment is still one of the best you can make.” 

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