The most commonly botched home DIY job has been revealed

Man using sledgehammer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Even expert DIYers can find that taking on challenging home improvement projects can cause more damage in the long-run, and increase costs too. That’s why it’s important to know which jobs to leave to the pros. 

Many self builders, renovators and home improvers often try to do work on a DIY basis, especially those with engineering or building experience. In fact, 68% of people in the UK have admitted to attempting to fix something at home before calling in a professional, according to new research from Toolstation.

Toolstation spoke to 500 people about their DIY experiences and asked a panel of trades experts for their advice on what to leave to the professionals. Unsurprisingly, the leading motivation to try a job yourself before calling a professional was to cut costs, with 70% of respondents saying this. 

The most commonly botched job tradespeople get called out to repair is when homeowners try to repair leaks. 

“Leaks often come with a moment of panic and so it’s no wonder that many jump right in to fix the problem themselves,” Toolstation says.

“Fixing a leaky radiator costs an average of £180 across the country, so it may be tempting to attempt this yourself. While 70% of the general public choose to do the job themselves to save a bit of cash, it can actually be a lot pricier when a tradesperson is finally called to correct any mistakes.”

The consequences of botched DIY jobs

Plumbing in appliances, bathrooms and kitchens, changing taps and painting/decorating were the next most-common botched jobs that tradespeople are called out to fix.

A botched job can, in some instances, add another £100-£500 to the price due to extra required work, according to more than a third of tradespeople. 

The consequences of botched jobs aren't just related cost. More than 5,600 people attended hospital after attempting DIY jobs with an electric hand tool during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Trying to fix a problem yourself before hiring a professional is most prevalent among older age groups, with more than three-quarters aged 55-64 admitting to this, compared to 69% of 25-34 year olds. 

Toolstation added: "We all love to save time and money by fixing a job ourselves with a bit of DIY, it is just important that we understand some tasks may be too big to take on ourselves, which is why professional tradespeople exist."

Jack Woodfield
News Editor

Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms. 


He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.