Phil Spencer's renovation tips: avoiding DIY disasters

NERDS (or never ending renovation dramas) affect almost 14 million homeowners in Britain, according to a survey by
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About 2.16 million homeowners put up with renovation disasters for over three years
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Whether it’s a tiling job or unpainted plaster work that’s left incomplete, renovation dramas spell hassle. Property expert Phil Spencer explains: "Bad DIY isn’t just unpleasant to live with; it puts buyers off."

When it comes to unfinished projects, kitchens and bathrooms suffer the most – taking an almost equal share in 64 per cent of DIY disasters. Often this is because the homeowner has no time to finish the work and other financial commitments take priority.

Creating a problem

Not only are unfinished jobs an eyesore, they cause emotional distress. This can mostly be attributed to the amount of time a homeowner lives alongside them. 2.6 million of us put up with renovation disasters for over three years. What’s more, if nearly a quarter of us are too embarrassed of our NERDs to invite friends into our homes, then social lives up and down the country are suffering hugely.

Hire a professional

You can, of course, avoid NERDs altogether by hiring a specialist to complete your project. If a DIY attempt goes wrong, it will cost more to employ a professional to rectify the damage than it would do to have hired him/her in the first place.

If your skills are not up to scratch, you also end up spending more time than intended on the project, with the outcome being questionable. Think about it, if you invest in expensive wallpaper but you end up doing a shoddy job of putting it up, it probably should have been left to the pros.

DIY tips

You shouldn’t attempt a job that you’re unsure about unless you’re confident in your abilities; use the best materials available for your budget. Buying cheaper materials may seem like a good idea at the time but this is one of the biggest mistakes. The finished result will be amateurish and it will cost more to make the job presentable later - a job that you will no doubt put off. Comparing prices online beforehand will allow you to make informed choices.

It’s also a good idea to research the legalities of any work that you plan to undertake, such as whether you need planning permission and if there are other building regulations that you will need to abide by.

Phil Spencer
Property expert Phil Spencer ambassador, Phil Spencer, shares more tips on how to avoid renovation dramas:

What to do
* Choose elegant and timeless designs: that are in keeping with the style of your house.
* Attention to detail is essential: If you're going to do-it-yourself, make sure the result doesn't look amateurish.
* Never scrimp on things like door furniture.

What NOT to do
* Don't skimp on supplies: buy extra tiles instead of using up any damaged ones or you won't get the quality finish you're after.
* Don't buy cheap paint: it won't save you money. You will end up having to apply more, the finish won't be as good and it will have a shorter lifetime than good quality paint.

If DIY’s not your strong point or you’re living with a NERD right now, call in an expert to complete your work


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