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DIY: The home insurance factor

Wood FloorFixing up your home yourself is usually a great way to save a bit of money and learn some valuable skills into the bargain. However, you should always make sure you’re confident in what you’re doing, as any accidents could potentially result in an expensive claim on your Castle Cover home insurance or with whoever provides your policy – as well as your premiums going up in the future.

While most of us would feel up to doing a bit of wallpapering or fixing a cabinet, the more complex a job gets, the more potential there is for something to go wrong. If you’re knocking through walls or making any other structural alterations, it’s almost certainly best to get the professionals in, and make sure they have suitable qualifications and insurance of their own.

However, even if you’re using a professional, it still pays to be mindful of whether your insurer will pay out in the event of a disaster. For this reason, it’s usually advised that you contact your home insurance provider ahead of any work taking place and make sure you are covered – this is also a good time to let them know if you are adding an extension, a conservatory or anything else that would affect the rebuild cost of your home.

Most policies will offer accidental damage cover to some extent, but will not necessarily protect you against DIY mishaps, so it’s worth checking the terms and conditions on your home insurance. If you spill paint over your carpet or accidentally knock a nail through a water pipe, don’t just assume the insurer will pay out! Some policies, however, will assist with the cost of emergency callouts, but this is usually offered as an optional extra.

The key to successful DIY is preparation, preparation, preparation – so make sure you’ve planned all the work in advance by using a detector to check for hidden pipes and wiring, clearing the space to give you enough room to work in, and knowing how to operate the tools you’ll be using. Finally, never tackle electrical or gas fitting jobs by yourself: this work should always be carried out by a qualified professional.