Regular home insurance may not cover you for DIY disasters. You probably need specific accidental damage cover and even if you have it, you should do your best to avoid claiming it since this can push up your premiums. In the case of DIY, it can also require a visit to A&E. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to DIY safely.
Call in a pro
The best way to do DIY safely is to call in a pro. Make sure you pick a reputable tradesperson and you’ll get your job done by someone who has the right skills, experience and tools as well as the right insurance. You’ll also get paperwork to show that the job was done by a professional and that can be very valuable when you come to sell your home. In fact, it may be very valuable if you need to claim your home insurance for another reason.
Do your preparation as though you were a pro
If you employ a professional tradesperson, then they’re going to want to know the exact scope of the job and the exact environment in which they’ll be doing the work. In fact, they may well need to see the site in person and make their own assessment of it.
Remember that most DIY jobs are going to have at least some potential to damage the infrastructure of your home. This is particularly likely if you need to lift up floorboards or drill into the floor (or do so by accident). That could bring you into contact with live electrical cabling, gas pipes and water pipes. Damaging walls or ceilings could have implications for the structural integrity of your home. Damaging a window could leave you exposed to weather damage (and cold) and security threats until it is fixed.
Doing any of the above could work out very expensive, more expensive (and inconvenient) than it would have been just to call out a pro in the first place.
You can treat your job scope and site assessment as a way to get a real feel for whether or not the job really is within your capabilities. If it is, then you will have benefitted from the time you spent doing your preparatory work. If it isn’t, then you will be a (large) step ahead when it comes to hiring a pro.
Follow pro-standard health-and-safety protocols
Assuming you’ve worked out how to do the job without demolishing your home, it’s time to think about how to do the job without demolishing yourself. You will never see a pro take on even an apparently minor job without appropriate safety gear and there is a very good reason for this. Small hazards can do major damage, especially if they get into a delicate part of your body, like your eye. In this sort of situation, the best you can hope for is a trip to A&E. The worst possible outcome is a life-changing injury (or even a fatality).
Keep other people out of your work area unless they really are helping
Young children and pets should never be allowed anywhere near a DIY project. This is unlikely to stop them from trying (and both can be very determined) so you may need to enlist a helper to keep them out. Older children and adults should also be kept out of the work zone unless they are genuinely helping. If they are genuinely helping then they need appropriate safety gear too. They also need to know exactly what is expected of them to avoid mistakes which could be expensive and/or painful.