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Brits spent £1.4bn fixing lockdown DIY disasters

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Written by: Emma Lunn
27/07/2021
One in 10 DIY projects in lockdown ended in disaster with cock-ups costing an average of £200 to fix.

Shawbrook Bank calculated that the nation spent a whopping £1.4bn fixing blunders during lockdown, while lockdown DIY projects also came with lots of unexpected costs such as paying for professionals to remedy mistakes.

Almost half (49%) of Brits took on more DIY projects than ever before over the past year, according to the bank’s research. But DIYers made an average of four errors each.

Nearly two thirds (61%) went over budget on the project and almost half (46%) had to call in a professional to fix the mistake. One in 10 (11%) said the cost of paying a professional to fix a job was the biggest unexpected cost of their whole home improvement project.

Sally Conway, head of consumer communications at Shawbrook Bank Personal Loans, said: “With a bit more time on our hands, finally getting round to sorting out little jobs around the house probably or bigger home improvement projects seemed like a good idea at the time.

“However, no matter how straightforward the project may have seemed, a lot of Brits might have been better calling in the experts to help with some of these home improvements – with some resulting in funny and sometimes stressful stories. By making light of the different DIY errors so many of us have faced previously, we can learn more about how to avoid similar mistakes in future.”

According to Shawbrook Bank’s research, the top lockdown DIY mistakes were putting up curtain rails incorrectly, with almost two in five (38%) getting this wrong. This was followed by making mistakes filling in cracks in walls and putting up shelving, artwork and mirrors (37%).

Other offenders for jobs that ended up being more trouble than it was worth included incorrectly fitting locks (31%), replacing doorknobs (33%) and attempting to clean a gutter (34%).

Conway added: “There’s no shame in admitting you might need a bit of help sometimes, and in fact, doing so could save you money in the long run. Budgeting up front can also help to keep costs under control, and if you’re considering borrowing money to finance your home improvements make sure you do your research to get the best deal for you.”

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