Meet the handymen from hell

These hapless handymen show that sometimes it’s a good idea to step away from the tools and call in the professionals. Hammering a nail through a water pipe or mounting wonky shelves are some of the most common DIY mishaps.

Research by Santander has found that nearly one in five homeowners who attempt to tackle their own home “improvements” cause damage to their property. The damage costs £344 on average per person, which adds up to over **£331 million nationwide** over a 12 month period.

The study shows that the most common mistake people make when working on their homes is underestimating the time or cost of their project. But other common errors are more concerning: many people end up damaging their walls, ceilings, lofts and furniture, and also bursting water pipes.

NHS helplines record an increase in calls from injured DIY fans during bank holiday weekends, when home improvement is top of the list for many householders. As a result, they advise that people invest in first-aid kits with basic equipment for cuts, slips and other accidents.

Britain’s top emergency doctor Dr. Cliff Mann has been even more explicit about the dangers of DIY, saying “you are more likely to die sorting out the Christmas lights by taking them out of the loft, or trying to fix a faulty plug, than an electrician is on a building site”.

Here are some of the most disastrous bodge jobs we’ve seen!

DIY disaster lands man in court

The owner of a higgledy-piggledy house in Newport was fined £400 and ordered to pay court costs after he was accused of ‘lowering the tone’ of his smart street. Neighbours said that Gerald Watkins “started doing the house up years ago”, but it is now a mess of scaffolding and unfinished building work, with a garden that “looks like a jungle”.

Nailed it

In China, a man had a lucky escape after a nail flew out of his cutting machine while he was doing a spot of DIY.

A hospital scan revealed that the nail had gone through Yang Yi Kui’s eye socket and penetrated his skull with neurosurgeons having to perform a risky operation to remove it.

Footballer loses fingers

The career of Uruguayan goalkeeper Juan Obelar was tragically cut short when he lost four fingers in a DIY accident. The player was using a wood plane for some home maintenance when the machine ripped off four of his fingers. The 34-year old was told by doctors that a degree of reconstructive surgery would be possible, but he was forced to retire from his football career.

To DIY or not to DIY?

A weekend spent on home improvement can be fun and rewarding and may save you cash. But make sure you’ve got the right tools and the right skills, and call in a professional tradesman if you’re not up to the job. If your handiwork goes wrong, it could cost more money to fix than it would have done to pay a professional in the first place. Plus, you could do serious damage to yourself as well as your property if things don’t go to plan.

Tradesman insurance

Even if you’re a professional tradesman, accidents can still happen. Simply Business offers specific tradesman insurance so that you’re covered if something goes wrong.

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