Homeowners could be taking thousands off the value of their homes by doing their own shoddy DIY work.
According to a new survey, nine out of 10 potential housebuyers would lower their offer if they spotted botched home improvements and more than half would be put off completely.
The study, carried out by TrustMark, the Government-endorsed “find a tradesman” scheme, concludes that poorly executed DIY can lower the sale price of a property by an average of 11 per cent.
This equates to a loss of £30,800 on the average English home, rising to £60,149 in London.
“While DIY projects can be immensely rewarding, homeowners should be wary of attempting DIY beyond their skill-set,” says Simon Ayers, chief executive of TrustMark.
Homeowners should be wary of attempting DIY beyond their skill-set.“Some of the most off-putting DIY flaws – like faulty wiring and ill-placed electrical sockets – are as dangerous as they are devaluing: homeowners should never attempt to carry out electrical or rewiring work without a trained expert.”
Amateur electricians are likely to have the worst effect on their properties. Forty per cent of the survey’s respondents finding visible wiring to be most off-putting, while a further 10 per cent are discouraged by badly placed electrical sockets.
Phil Kent, an electrician in Bristol, is all too aware of the problem.
“The worst DIY issue I’ve ever seen was by a customer who wasn’t qualified to do electrical work. He just used an on-site guide to electrical wiring from 2008 to rewire his whole house. He’d made quite a few errors, and wasn’t happy when I pointed these out to him.
“The worst issues I find are usually in kitchens, where the old cables are jointed badly in connectors, and then plastered into the wall and covered up with new tiles. There have been many occasions when I’ve had to rewire kitchens entirely, which involves removing units, cabinets and tiles, at great expense to the customer.”
Other disconcerting DIY disasters identified in the survey include ill-fitting or unfinished kitchen units (18 per cent) and squeaky floorboards (5 per cent).
Unless you know what you’re doing, DIY could stand for ‘devalue it yourself.’