DIY home improvements putting hundreds of thousands in hospital
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Health
toolsImage: via Shutterstock
New kitchens, bathrooms and boilers top a list of the most popular DIY projects, a survey has revealed - but home improvements hospitalise 220,000 Brits a year.
Adding an extra bedroom, a garden makeover, and knocking through rooms also make it onto the top 10 list of favoured improvements, compiled by gocompare.com.
However, injuries from tools and machinery account for around 87,000 accidents, according to figures from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), while splinters, grit, dust, dirt and other particles result in another 60,000 seeking treatment in A&E after DIY work.
And while some successful home improvements may add value to a home, others could actually hinder a sale and see sellers forking out for repairs.
According to the Home Accident Surveillance System (2002) – the most dangerous tools are:
1- Knives and scalpels (21,300 accidents in the UK each year)
2- Saws (15,100)
3- Grinders (6,400)
4- Hammers (5,800)
5- Chisels (3,900)
6- Screwdrivers (3,400)
7- Power drills (3,000)
8- Axes (2,200)
9- Planes (2,100)
10- Welding equipment (2,000)
Independent estate agents and valuers Harrison Murray have a few tips for homeowners to help them avoid becoming a DIY statistic this summer:
- Give your home a mini makeover with a simple coat of neutral coloured paint to freshen up walls and paintwork.
- Hire a carpet cleaning machine for the weekend and give your carpets a deep cleansing shampoo.
- Give your kitchen cupboards and units a new look with replacement doors and handles - which is far cheaper than a complete kitchen overhaul.
- Replacing the grouting around sinks and baths will give an instantly brighter and cleaner look, making bathrooms and cloakrooms more attractive.
- Make sure the doorbell and smoke alarms are in good working order and replace the batteries if necessary.
- Weather permitting, hire or borrow a pressure washer to make the patio gleaming again.
The RoSPA says most common DIY accidents could be avoided through better planning or adequate safety gear like gloves, masks and goggles. DIY’ers should not overestimate their capabilities and should not tackle jobs when they are over-tired.
Head of estate agency Nick Salmon said: “If you are planning to put your home on the market, don’t bite off more than you can chew.
“Numerous homeowners do enjoy DIY, but while they may have bags of enthusiasm and a will to succeed, some may lack the basic skills required to carry out larger and more complex projects.
“Don't forget that only qualified contractors should alter gas or electrical installations, buta few simple DIY and housekeeping tricks may have the desired effect - without tapping into the home insurance.”