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Easter DIY don’ts

As the owners of B&Q and Screwfix announce a surge in sales and profits for 2020, the Easter bank holiday weekend marks the start of the 2021 DIY season. With the nation striving to get homes and gardens ready for the lifting of lockdown, this Easter is set to be a big one for home improvements. 

While it’s only natural to be excited that we’ll soon be allowed visitors, construction industry insiders warn that DIY isn’t always a doddle, and can lead you into hot water if you don’t know what you are doing.

Jerry Whiteley, Technical Manager for the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE), urges householders to be cautious when undertaking DIY. He explains, “There’s no doubt there are a number of simple tasks people can tackle themselves. However, some jobs should be left to the professionals. For instance plumbing mishaps can lead to extensive water damage, or water contamination, both can be disastrous for your health and your bank balance. While DIY on heating systems can lead to potentially deadly issues such as Carbon Monoxide poisoning.”

Worryingly, if you run into problems while we are still in lockdown, you could have trouble finding a professional tradesperson to put it right. DIY disasters can cost you a lot of money - especially if your home insurance policy does not cover accidental damage, or you have attempted work that you are not competent to do. 

Some DIY tasks come with a health warning too. Every year thousands of people end up in A&E, walk-in centres, or minor and major injury departments due to a DIY accident. Whether it’s a fall off a ladder, a power tool related injury, consequences from cutting through electric cables or a nail through the finger, nobody wants to risk a hospital visit during a pandemic.

Jerry continued, “Unless you have the knowledge and experience to undertake work on plumbing and heating systems, it’s just not worth taking chances. The DIYer has to abide by exactly the same regulations as the qualified professional. So, although you may think you are making the most of a bank holiday weekend, uninformed DIY can very easily become costly, stressful, dangerous and can land you in hot water with the law.

“Members of the CIPHE regularly rectify work carried out by people who have no formal plumbing training. My advice is to always engage a professional to carry plumbing or heating work, so you have the peace of mind of a job well done.”

If you do have a DIY disaster this bank holiday weekend and need to find a professional plumbing or heating engineer, visit www.ciphe.org.uk.