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Direct Line Insurance : Home botched repairs cost UK households ú609 million to fix professionally

04/21/2021 | 05:50am EDT
Home botched repairs cost UK households £609 million to fix professionally
4min read
21 Apr 2021
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  • Every day 55,000 DIY repair jobs go wrong
  • Over five million people have not invited tradespeople into their home due to lockdown restrictions
  • The average cost for a professional fixing a dodgy DIY job is £141
  • Tradespeople say one in six of the repair jobs they attend have been made worse by someone trying to do it themselves

New research from Churchill Home Insurance1 reveals that around 55,000 home repair jobs a day are made worse by people trying to fix the problem themselves - the equivalent of more than 20 million per year. In the past year, 27.5 million2 people have attempted DIY in the home with over five million citing lockdown restrictions as the reason for not wanting a tradesperson to come and carry out the work.

Despite starting with good intentions, the damage caused as a result of a failed DIY job is astounding and collectively costs Brits more than £609 million annually, or the equivalent of £141 per repair.3

The most common repair jobs people tried to fix in their homes in the last year were blocked sinks (19 per cent or 10.2 million people), electrical repairs (19 per cent or 10.1 million people) and dripping taps (19 per cent or 10 million people).

Some eight million people admit they have carried out home repairs without seeking any advice at all. Of the 19 million who do educate themselves before attempting DIY, over half (57 per cent) opted for an online tutorial, 23 per cent asked a friend or family member who is not a DIY professional and, 20 per cent read an article. Just one in five (19 per cent) sought tips from a friend or family member who is a DIY professional and even fewer (eleven per cent) asked a DIY professional they do not have a personal relationship with.

Homeowners attempting to save money through DIY should research the costs before attempting. Further research3 conducted by Churchill among tradespeople found that as many as one in six repair jobs they attend have been made worse by the person trying DIY.

In some cases, it can even be cheaper to get a professional in to fix a problem. When comparing the cost of a DIY fix for some issues around the home to the price of bringing in a professional, tiling repairs were on average £76 more expensive when done by householders themselves.

Table one: Top jobs that are cheaper for a professional to repair

Type of Issue

Average cost of carrying out repairs yourself

Average cost of getting a professional to do the job

Difference in cost

Tiling repairs




Fixing a shelf or cupboard




Electrical repairs




Fixing a running toilet




Fixing a broken window




Source: Churchill Home Insurance 2021

Of those who tried to repair home issues themselves, many either failed or made the problem worse. The majority (52 per cent) of those who tried to fix a roof failed - the equivalent of 4.6 million people while a fifth (20 per cent or 1.8 million people) who tried to fix their toilet made the problem worse.

Many people attempt DIY because they believe it's just a small job (48 per cent) or want to save money (30 per cent). Nearly a quarter (22 per cent) were confident they could do the job themselves despite a lack of experience, while one in six (16 per cent) wanted to save time.

Steven Williams, Head of Churchill home insurance, said: 'We appreciate that the past year has been extremely tough with everyone keeping to lockdown rules and it may have been a very daunting prospect to invite tradespeople into your home to fix a problem. However, it's important to make sure you know how to fix something before attempting it and if you are unsure, call a professional as otherwise you risk causing further damage.

'If you are having issues with repair jobs in your home, and are a customer, Churchill's 24-hour emergency helpline could provide the guidance and peace of mind you need in an hour of need. We can help customers find tradespeople to perform repair work and provide that added peace of mind in a stressful situation.

'There are certain jobs that people should never attempt themselves, due to the potential dangers they pose, including fixing mains water issues and mains electricity issues.'

Table two: Types of jobs tradespeople are most commonly called out for to fix after trying to be repaired

Type of issue

Proportion of jobs trades people are called out to fix

Average cost to repair


13 per cent



9 per cent


Bath / Shower

7 per cent



7 per cent



6 per cent



5 per cent



5 per cent



5 per cent



5 per cent



5 per cent


Source: Churchill Home Insurance 2021


Notes to Editor

1 Consumer omnibus research commissioned with Opinium among 2,001 UK adults between 23rd and 27th October 2020.

2 Consumer omnibus research commissioned with Opinium among 2,000 UK adults between 2nd and 3rd March 2021

3 Research conducted among 100 tradespeople from four primary specialisms (plumbers, carpenters, electricians and handymen) from across the UK between the 9th and 13th of November 2020

For further information please contact:

Hayley Saunders
Churchill PR Manager

Tel: 07814269915

Email: [email protected]

Samantha Stewart

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Tel: 0207 025 6497

Email: [email protected]


Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK's leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0300 200 300 or visiting www.churchill.com


Direct Line Insurance Group plc published this content on 21 April 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 21 April 2021 09:49:03 UTC.

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