Brits excel at destroy-it-yourself as lockdown DIY disasters cost £1.4bn

The nation has been in the grip of a DIY frenzy, with almost half (49%) of Brits taking on more DIY projects than ever before over the past year, according to new research released today.

However, this resulted in an alarming number of mistakes, with more than one in ten (13%) admitting to having a serious DIY mishap since the start of lockdown.

Shawbrook Bank’s research into DIY disasters found that during lockdown, DIYers made an average of four errors each. Correcting these issues cost £193 per person – equating to a whopping £1.4 billion spent overall by Brits who had to resolve DIY disasters in lockdown.

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 ten (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.”

As part of the research of 2,000 DIYers, Shawbrook Bank also asked respondents to share some of their funniest and most embarrassing mishaps.

Numerous respondents admitting to falling through attic floors or making holes in their walls, while one owned up to mixing coffee with white paint to make brown paint.

Inspired by some of these stories, Shawbrook Bank has today released a series of comedy sketches titled A Comedy of (DIY) Errors. Written and performed by renowned British comedian Hal Cruttenden, the video series can be viewed for free.

Famous for his appearances in Mock the Week and Live at The Apollo, Hal makes light of the funny and sometimes stressful situations we face when taking on DIY around our homes through these new comedy sketches.

Hal Cruttenden said: “Although I’m reluctant to admit it, I’m certainly no stranger to a DIY blunder myself. Hearing from the nation about their hilarious DIY stories in recent weeks has made me feel a little better about my own incompetence. At least I know I’m not alone.

“From doing DIY when drunk, which led to a hole in the wall in one person’s case, to some of the nation actually ending up with full blown injuries after attempting home improvements, it’s clear to see that DIY comes more naturally to some than others.”

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, followed by making mistakes filling in cracks in walls and putting up shelving, artwork and mirrors – 37% did this.

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%).

The research also found that more than half (58%) of Brits used savings to fund their DIY in lockdown, with credit cards (17%) and personal loans (9%) the next most popular choice. However, less than half (46%) made a proper budget before carrying out their DIY projects.

Sally Conway said: “It’s hilarious to hear about some of the mishaps from the past year – with ‘destroy-it-yourself’ perhaps the more appropriate term rather than ‘do-it-yourself.’

“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.

“This campaign aims to make light of DIY blunders to demonstrate that while they can often go wrong, there’s a lesson to be learnt in terms of getting it right next time.”

Shawbrook Bank has a hub of tips and tricks to help homeowners get their ‘DIY mishaps’ right at www.shawbrook.co.uk/comedy-of-diy-errors/

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