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Homes under the hammer


Spring is finally here, which means that (hopefully) the weather will be warmer and the days will be longer. With that in mind, now is the perfect time to sort your house out. Less rain allows you to re-cover the roof and milder temperatures mean you can have the windows open while you paint.

Most of us enjoy the odd bit of DIY – slightly skewed shelves and wonky wallpaper make our home unique – as there’s nothing more satisfying than ‘finishing’ a room and knowing you did it yourself.

However, there’s no shame in following advice to avoid home renovation accidents and disasters, so we’ve compiled a list of top DIY tips to help you smarten up your home safely.

1. Be prepared

It’s tempting to get stuck in straight away, but a little planning can go a long way. Sit down with a cup of tea and check you have the right tools, materials and strategy.

2. Be honest

If you’re not entirely convinced that you can ‘do it yourself’ then don’t. It’s not worth causing an accident or ruining your floors just because you didn’t want to get an expert in. If you’re sure that you can finish the job to a standard you’ll be happy with, then go for it.

3. Dress to impress

With DIY there’s always a chance you’re going to get covered in paint, glue or sawdust, so don’t wear your new jumper. If you don’t have any old clothes that you don’t mind getting splattered with allsorts, it’s worth buying overalls to protect your outfit.

4. The right tools for the job

You’ll always get better results with better tools, so it’s definitely worth paying a bit more for your equipment and materials. If you’re not sure how to tell the difference, look at DIY forums (such as www.diynot.com) and read tool reviews online.

5. Clear the house

Young children, pets and DIY are not a good mix so ask someone to babysit or take the dog for the day so you can avoid blue paw prints or handprints on your walls. You’ll also be able to concentrate better if you don’t have any distractions.

6. Watch a video

YouTube has thousands of helpful videos showing you how to do everything home-related from stripping wallpaper and choosing paint, to demolishing a wall and building a conservatory.

7. Chill out

There’s never enough time, so when we actually have a spare weekend to strip wallpaper or paint the kitchen it’s difficult not to try to get it done as quickly as possible. Don’t rush. You’ll only have to redo the whole job or get someone in to fix it, so take your time. It’ll make a difference.

8. Stay safe

DIY can be dangerous, especially if you’re using sharp implements or power tools. It doesn’t matter how silly you look – wear gloves, goggles and a mask. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Also be aware of trailing power cables which can be hazardous.

9. Do it properly

If you enjoy fixing up your house, then why not consider taking a DIY course? Many organisations and colleges, including The DIY School, offer short DIY courses for beginners as well as more specific training on tiling, decorating, plastering and electrics.

10. Get covered

Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a novice learning to paint, accidents do happen, so it’s essential to check that your home is covered against accidents, just in case you do put your foot through the ceiling or drop a paint can on the carpet.

John Lewis Home Insurance

John Lewis Accidental Damage Cover* can give you peace of mind, so when you’ve got a free weekend to put up shelves or tile the bathroom, you don't have to panic if it all goes wrong. It probably won’t be a disaster, but just in case it is, our policy includes suitable home repairs from approved suppliers.

John Lewis Home Insurance also gives you the option of an emergency 24 hour Home Emergency serviceof up to £1,500** including labour and parts, so that you can get your home back to normal before the weekend’s over.

John Lewis Home Insurance homepage

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* Included as standard with our Premier cover and optional on Essential and Plus Cover 

** With Premier Cover

Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and acceptance criteria apply.

John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Home Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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