Making improvements to your home and repair work can help you save money, but only if it's done well. When did we interview Which? Trusted operators *, 78% of them said they were called to rectify a failed job.
From the laborers who try to mount or repair their boilers to overly ambitious homeowners who install a bathroom with leaking pipes, our dealers have seen some horror stories.
The most common cries of help related to the plumbing, followed by general maintenance and decoration tasks. While you should always leave the gas and electric work to skilled professionals, some traders we interviewed have found and set dangerous do-it-yourself attempts to mount boilers and stoves or wire into a new electric battery. Scroll down for details of the worst DIY disasters that our dealers have seen.
"Everyone thinks it's cheaper to do the work on their own, rather than employing a skilled craftsman," said a trader, "but it's a false economy of time and resources to think this way."
If your home needs repairs, visit Which? Trustworthy traders to find a reputable dealer who has been through our rigorous checks.
Worst disasters do it yourself
Our video highlights five of the most shocking do-it-yourself disasters that our dealers have rectified, from hydraulics to gas to electricity:
Read on for disastrous household improvement stories, as well as advice on what you should – and certainly should not – do yourself.
Heating and gas
"I was called to repair a diesel boiler after a guy tried to install it himself, and every wire was disconnected in an attempt to make it work."
"I've been called so many times in faulty heating systems, where the customer tried to repair it himself, it always ends up costing more."
"We often see gas piping with incorrect fittings and earth-free electric showers, both of which are potentially very dangerous."
Any work related to the gas should be performed by an engineer registered in Gas Safe. This includes the installation, repair or maintenance of a gas boiler and the installation or repair of a gas fire, gas stove or hob.
Not all gas engineers are qualified to perform all types of gas work. Every engineer registered with Gas Safe must carry a gas safety card with the Gas Safe triangle.
The engineer's qualifications will be listed on the back of the card – always check what kind of job your gas engineer is qualified to undertake before starting. Visit our guide to registered Gas Safe engineers to find out more.
Remember that every home should have a working carbon monoxide alarm to warn you of potential gas poisoning. In October, which one? is giving away 1,000 free CO alarms, through which? Trusted traders.
"The worst do-it-yourself I saw was a 1.5mm light cord that had been used for a ring circuit in a house, when it should have been 2.5mm. 32Amp switch is likely to fail or is based in high load or fault conditions before the switch trips, endangering the entire house. "
I do daily inspections and I regularly see really bad wiring work done by homeowners. There is not enough to regulate this. & # 39;
Upgrading, replacing or installing an electrical installation are the best jobs left to a professional. Done incorrectly, they could cause a fire or, in the worst case, injury or death.
Some electrical work must comply with Part-P regulations and must be signed by the control of the buildings of the local authorities. To avoid having to personally contact the local authority, hire a trader who is part of a "scheme of a competent person", as he will be able to sign the work himself.
Visit our guide to hiring an electrician to make sure you know what to look for and find a trusted electrician in your area who uses Which? Trusted traders.
"Once we went to a job where a customer tried to change a kitchen sink but, after a number of trips to do-it-yourself stores and water leaks everywhere, he gave up and called us . "
"I discovered that someone had mistakenly installed a pipe, so their bathroom had a horrible smell, we had to dig and start again."
"Many people try to adapt to their bathroom and then wonder why the water is not wasted, usually it is badly installed piping or no fall / fall on the waste water pipe."
"The plumbing might seem easy on the surface, but without the right tools, the end result may appear messy or, worse, leak and damage the house."
There are some hydraulic jobs that do-it-yourselfers can do themselves, such as bleeding radiators, check or top up the pressure in the boiler and test a faucet.
But if a plumbing goes wrong, you risk flooding your home, which could lead to ruined property, problems with damp and even drooping ceilings.
Visit our hydraulic section to see all our advice on solving common plumbing problems and find a reputable plumber in your area if you need it.
Decoration, construction and woodworking
"We were called to a job where the client had pulled out a wall, but the ceiling had not been checked, he needed steel to support it, we organized a structural engineer to calculate what was needed and install it as soon as possible"
"Sometimes people try to build conservatives or extensions by joining pieces and pieces they inherited or by buying something from a supplier and trying to adapt it for themselves."
"It is very common to see people with roof leaks attempting to cover the hole or break with a small amount of membrane that then weigh down, which could delay losses, but never solve the problem."
"We see many tiling works and the laying of wooden floors goes wrong. The cost to repair / replace it is usually so large that it will never be able to try it again. "
Larger and more structural work entails greater risk: poorly executed do-it-yourself can weaken property or violate building regulations. Before attempting any important work yourself, it is necessary to contact a qualified professional and check the rules relating to the control of the building.
Our home maintenance consultancy guides will give you more information about daily jobs and help you decide which ones are best left to professionals.
You can also use Which? Trader trusted to find a builder, a roofer, a carpenter or a painter and decorator in your area.
* Survey of 213 Which? Trustworthy traders in May 2018.