DIY season: should I still go ahead with my home improvements?

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Spring can be a great time to get stuck into all of those DIY and home maintenance jobs we have been putting off all winter, particularly now, when we’re spending more time in our homes.

However, while it may be tempting to don the overalls and to get your hands dirty, you might want to think about whether now is the right time?

You may consider yourself safe from coronavirus doing DIY indoors but carrying out certain jobs around the house could have serious consequences not just for you but others too.

With that in mind, we thought we would share some top DIY tips to live by until things start to resemble normality again.

Avoid unnecessary, difficult jobs

The temptation can be to order a new kitchen or parts for your bathroom and use the extra time at home to spruce up your property.

However, research by MyJobQuote suggests that one in six (or 17%) of us who take on a DIY job will injure ourselves one way or another.

If more of us started carrying out unnecessary, complex home maintenance projects, this could well result in a spike in injuries. That would put further strain on the National Health Service at a time of national emergency.

Therefore, it’s perhaps a wise idea to only tackle essential jobs or ones that you feel confident doing yourself.

There’s no harm in using the time to do menial DIY tasks, such as using up leftover paint to fix up your walls or tidying up the garden but whatever you are doing remember to keep yourself and others at home safe.

Use safety equipment

If you need to carry out emergency DIY jobs in your home requiring greater caution, then make sure you use the correct safety equipment.

That means putting on sturdy boots with steel toe caps if you are lifting heavy items, thick padded gloves if you are using tools and protective eye goggles if you are sawing or cutting.

If you don’t have any of these items, then make sure you get hold of them before you start any work in your home.

 

…having said that

While you’ll want to make sure you have the correct safety equipment in place, try not to go overboard with online ordering.

Many vulnerable people rely on online delivery services for essentials such as food, medicines and cleaning products.

If there is a spike in demand for DIY equipment, these people may not get the vital supplies they need on time.

Another alternative is to collect the items yourself using click & collect. Some DIY retailers are still offering click & collect for essentials only, according to consumer champion Which.

However, if you do leave the house, stay safe by avoiding unnecessary stops along the way to the store, observe social distancing measures and make sure you wash both your hands and your store-bought items when you get home.

What if I need to call a plumber or electrician?

Some jobs are too complicated for even the most ardent of DIYers and so you may decide to call in the professionals.

To ensure you and your family remain safe, this again should only be for big jobs that can’t wait, for example to fix faulty wiring or a burst pipe.

Some people display no or only very minor symptoms when they have been infected with coronavirus.

So, when the tradesperson arrives, make sure you keep a distance of at least two meters between yourself. That will not only protect you but also them.

Finally, while now might not be the right time to proceed with some jobs, it’s a great opportunity to start planning future work by looking for new ideas, inspiration and tips on how to do things right.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to get the most bang for your buck, then it’s worth reading our Ultimate Guide to financing your next home improvement’.

If your finances are in need of a spring clean because you’ve been affected by Coronavirus there are a number of helpful websites you can use including the Money Advice Service or Citizens Advice.

If you’ve taken out finance and you’re worried you won’t be able to meet the repayments in the short-term due to Coronavirus, make sure you get in touch with your bank or lender immediately so that they are aware of the situation. The sooner you get in touch, the more they can try to help you.

If you’re one of our customers and have concerns about the impact Coronavirus could have on your finances visit our Coronavirus support page.

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