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Dare to DIY? You could be breaking the law…

It’s May, there’s still one more Bank Holiday weekend to go, and those longer nights and Bank Holiday deals make tackling DIY jobs a little easier. But before you pick up those tools there are some things you need to know…

1. Everyone has to adhere to Building and Water Regulations
Whether you are undertaking the job yourself or employing a professional tradesperson, everyone has to adhere to Building and Water Regulations (Bylaws in Scotland). Regulations are set down in law and not just a ‘best practice’ guide - so if you indulge in DIY, make sure you know what you are doing, because work that contravenes Building or Water Regulations can have serious consequences.

Think it won’t matter? Breaking regulations could devalue your home, make it hard to sell, cause illness or injury to those you love, lead to prosecution and hurt your pocket with a hefty fine. It can also cost thousands to put work right.

2. Only take on jobs you are competent to do
If you have the knowhow, then simple tasks such as changing a tap washer, taking off a radiator to do the decorating, or plumbing in a new washing machine shouldn’t pose too may dangers, although even the simplest of jobs can go wrong. However, there are some jobs you should never tackle, such as working on gas appliances.

The Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are registered to work safely and legally on boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances. Never work on gas yourself and always use a Gas Safe Registered engineer. Not only do they hold the relevant training and accreditations, but they will also complete all the appropriate paperwork, providing you with the necessary evidence of regulatory compliance too.

3. DIY can be dangerous!
Health and Safety Regulations exist to protect everyone. Hospital A&E departments see a great rise in admissions due to DIY over the Bank Holiday weekends. Make sure you work safely at height, remove obstacles that may cause you to trip and fall and make sure all tools and equipment are out of reach of any young people in the home.

Kevin Wellman, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE) said, “Professionals and occasional DIYers all face the same Regulations and hazards when working in the home. The bottom line is that you need to be confident you have the skills and competence to complete a job to a high standard. If you don’t, we recommend you always use a professional tradesperson  - poor workmanship can land you in more hot water than just a hefty repair bill.”

So don’t take risks with the health and wealth of your family. If you are looking for a professional plumbing or heating engineer, you should visit http://www.ciphe.org.uk or phone the CIPHE on 01708 472791.