Don’t let bank holiday DIY become a recipe for disaster

Harrison Murray development director Jackie Scotten

As another bank holiday weekend approaches, there are a couple of things that are almost certain – rain and DIY – says development director Jackie Scotten, who has spent several years working at Cambridgeshire branches of Harrison Murray estate agents.

According to latest figures, home owners are spending almost twice as much money upgrading their kitchen than any other part of the home. On average, a study suggests home owners have spent £33 in every £100 of their home improvement budget on the kitchen in the last year.

Spurred on by numerous DIY makeover television programmes, UK consumers have been rushing to buy home improvement items in an attempt to retain or boost the value of their property. And, according to a report from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the number of home owners carrying out DIY installations and home improvements is set to increase over the next few months.

However, we would urge caution to ensure DIY dreams don’t turn into a DIY disaster. If you are planning to put your home on the market, don’t bite off more than you can chew.

 Numerous home owners enjoy DIY but, while there is bags of enthusiasm and a will to succeed, some may lack the basic skills required to carry out larger more complex projects. Don’t forget that only qualified contractors should alter gas or electrical installations.

 A few simple DIY and housekeeping tricks may have the desired effect without tapping into the home insurance:

 * Spruce up your paintwork with a fresh neutral look throughout – simple and effective

* Hire a carpet cleaner machine for the weekend and give your carpets a deep cleansing shampoo

* Give your kitchen cupboards and units a new look with some replacement doors and handles – far cheaper than a complete kitchen overhaul

* Replacing the grouting around sinks and baths will give an instant brighter and cleaner look

* Make sure the doorbell and smoke alarms are in good working order but replace the batteries if necessary

* Hire or borrow a pressure washer to make the patio gleaming again following the wintry weather.

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