Research from three leading financial institutions has revealed that an increasing number of Brits are attempting DIY jobs instead of hiring a professional and damaging their property as a result.

According to Lloyds Bank, spending on DIY has reached its highest level since 2008. Households spent a total of £5.5 billion on DIY in 2014 - a rise of 10% from the £5 billion spent in 2013. Expenditure on major tools and equipment, such as step ladders and wallpaper strippers, increased by 9% from £4 billion in 2013 to £4.4 billion in 2014, while that for materials for maintenance and repair, such as paints and wallpaper, rose by 10% from £1 billion to £1.1 billion. However, there was little change in spending on trade services, including fees to painters and decorators. For every £1 spent on tradesmen in 2014, £3.92 was spent on DIY tools and materials.

Previous research has shown that home maintenance spending is strongly linked to the performance of the housing market. Spending fell by around 36% between the height of the market in 2007 and the bottom of the market in 2011. As the market picked up between 2011 and 2014, spending increased by 13%.

While most DIY enthusiasts limit themselves to more manageable tasks, such as putting up wallpaper and minor repairs, others turn their hand to more ambitious tasks such as knocking down walls. Interestingly, research from Nationwide Building Society reveals that many people who carry out home improvements are unsuccessful, with more than half (56%) of DIY enthusiasts botching one or more DIY jobs. Of those who botch jobs, nine in ten (90%) choose not to claim on their home insurance for the cost of fixing their own mistakes. With nearly a fifth (19%) of people with DIY horror stories causing over £200 of damage to their property, botched attempts at DIY are clearly proving costly.

According to research from LV= home insurance, painting and decorating is the DIY task that most DIY enthusiasts struggle with. Over ambition and lack of knowledge are the main causes of DIY disasters in novice home improvers. An honest 36% of those who admitted causing damage to their property claimed that they started the job without the right knowledge while 18% said that the job ended up being more complicated than they anticipated. Close to one in four (24%) lay the blame on their tools and materials.

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