The UK’s top 10 DIY projects revealed
A fresh coat of paint, new flooring and a bathroom makeover top the list of DIY projects carried out by homeowners in the last five years, according to GoCompare Home Insurance.
The survey also revealed that most work (68%) is undertaken to improve a property’s general appearance rather than essential maintenance (38%).
Energy efficiency improvements featured strongly in the list including installing a new boiler or central heating system and improving insulation.
The top 10
Top 10 home improvements carried out in last five years are:
1. Interior redecoration – 50%
2. Replaced the flooring (laid new carpet, wood floor, etc.) – 31%
3. Installed a new bathroom – 29%
4. Garden makeover – 25%
5. New kitchen fitted – 25%
6. Installed new boiler or central heating system – 25%
7. Fitted new windows/double glazing – 21%
8. Installed a new shed or garden building – 16%
9. Exterior redecoration – 13%
10. Improved the insulation – 13%
Check your cover
Despite most (87%) homeowners having carried out work on their properties in the last five years, only a quarter had spoken to their insurer about their plans or changes they had made.
Home insurance policies typically exclude cover for structural alterations, renovations, poor workmanship and faulty materials. So, homeowners tackling major projects they are not qualified to do – such as electrical or plumbing work – could invalidate their insurance.
Before undertaking any major changes to their home, such as adding an en-suite or knocking through rooms, homeowners should consult their insurer to ensure they don’t unintentionally void their policy.
Household building and contents insurance policies generally don’t cover accidental damage to the building or belongings unless cover has been specifically added – only 16% of policies checked by GoCompare included accidental cover as standard. So, if a homeowner has a DIY accident while redecorating a room or puts their foot through a ceiling while laying loft insulation, they won’t be covered unless they’ve bought the extra protection.
Ben Wilson, from GoCompare Home Insurance said, “Before undertaking any home improvements it’s a good idea to dig out your household insurance to check whether you’re covered if things go wrong. While you don’t need to inform your insurer about routine decorating or maintenance, it’s a worthwhile precaution to check whether you’re covered for accidental damage.
“If you’re planning a major renovation project, particularly if it involves structural changes, one of the first things you should do is to review your buildings and contents insurance to make sure that you have adequate cover both during and after the work has been completed. Otherwise, you could find that you aren’t covered or worse still you might invalidate your policy.”