DIY disasters: when home improvement goes wrong

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

If you are not confident to tackle the DIY project, step away from the tool box

If your DIY attempt goes wrong and you need to call in a qualified tradesman to put it right, you could be out of pocket.

If you tackle something potentially dangerous you could even hurt yourself.

The tradesman comparison site, HaMuch.com, said that a third of the jobs posted on it are from people looking to rectify a dodgy DIY job.

It has listed some of the worst DIY disasters around the home and how much you might need to pay to put them right.

But the website highlighted two areas of the home that should never be tackled by a DIY amateur in the first place – 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.


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.


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 HaMuch.com, Tarquin Purdie, said: “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.”