Homeowners who choose to complete certain household jobs themselves could face fines of up to £5,000 – or receive no insurance payout in the event of an issue. According to parts of Building Regulations laws relating to “Part P”, those who carry out electrical works in particular rooms, such as the bathroom, are actually breaking the law and could face large fines.
Servicing your own boiler is also illegal, and while not servicing isn’t actually against the law, it could leave you uninsured if problems arise as a result.
On top of this, badly maintained properties – or bodged DIY jobs – are costing homeowners millions of pounds every year in denied insurance payouts.
As the cost of living increases take hold, hundreds of thousands of Brits are delaying essential maintenance – even carrying out specialist jobs themselves, and it could lead to disaster.
According to MyBuilder.com, a platform that matches reliable tradespeople to homeowners, failing to maintain your home properly – or risking DIY instead of getting the professionals in – can lead to problems should an accident or damage occur.
Many home insurance companies have it written into the small print that any claims relating to damage caused by improperly maintained properties will not result in a payout. This includes failing to carry out general maintenance (such as clearing out your gutters) but also includes any damage directly – or indirectly – caused by DIY jobs.
Andy Simms, a property expert from MyBuilder.com, said it is essential that policyholders check the smallprint before carrying out jobs themselves.
“I understand it can be tempting to hang a shelf yourself, or replace a roof tile – or even service your boiler. I can even see why it might seem sensible to skip your boiler service or ignore that cracked window.
“If you’re not a gas professional or a Gas Safe Engineer, then servicing your own boiler is illegal under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
“The fact is that if damage ensues as a result of DIY, or an accident happens, you could find yourself in a situation where your insurer will not pay out. This can even be the case if you didn’t cause any damage during the job – but if a problem occurred later.
“Particularly with fixes or maintenance on boilers, heating systems, or electrics. These should always be carried out by certified experts, or you will face a big bill should it all go wrong.”
MyBuilder.com has put together a list of issues that may lead to your home insurance policy becoming invalid, and provided some tips to make sure you don’t fall into the insurance trap. The full list can be seen at www.mybuilder.com/blog/could-your-diy-cost-you-a-fine-or-a-denied-insurance-claim.
It may sound like no big deal – but actually blocked gutters can lead to significant damage to your property. They are a common cause of damp in your home, which can quickly become an expensive problem. If your insurer has reason to believe that your gutters have not been cleared, they are unlikely to pay out for any damp related issues in your home.
Installing your own solar panels
Solar panels are (understandably) becoming very popular – but they are also expensive. Some people are turning to buying and installing their own, which is not only potentially dangerous, but is likely to render your insurance useless in the event of a problem. There is no harm in shopping around for second hand or discounted panels, but always get an expert to install them.
Installing animal flap
Cat and dog flaps might make your life easier in some ways, but if you install them yourself you could compromise the safety of your home. Most insurance policies will ask to know if an animal flap is a feature in your home, and if you install one without telling them, your insurance will be void.
Not mending damage promptly
Roof tiles coming off, cracks in walls or broken windows are all good examples of damage that needs to be repaired – and quickly. Should an issue occur in your home that can be attributed to problems that should have been fixed, you’ll find yourself with no payout.
Not having secure enough windows and doors
Insecure windows and doors are a big problem when it comes to payouts after burglaries. Any cracks in windows, weaknesses in frames or dodgy locks should be replaced with urgency. In the unfortunate event of a break in, if an insurance provider suspects a weakness in security, you will struggle to get a payout.
Servicing your own boiler
Any work with oil, gas, or electricity boilers needs to be undertaken by a certified professional. Doing a DIY job on any of these systems is not only illegal but a very bad idea – and is not only risking your payout, but your life.