25th November 2010 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The cost of carrying out your own home improvements can be more than just financial because every year over 200,000 DIY enthusiasts are admitted to hospital. This is the warning from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) to householders as part of the ninth annual National Maintenance Week.
Brian Berry, Director of External Affairs at the FMB said:
“Our home is our biggest financial asset so it makes good sense to maintain it to avoid future more expensive problems. A well maintained home is also worth more and will be much easier to sell when you decide to move on. However, it is very important to ensure that any maintenance and improvement work is done to a high standard because a botched DIY job can be a false economy as it will lower the value of a property.”
“With VAT going up to 20 percent in January householders might be tempted to use builders that claim they can make “VAT disappear” but this is never a good idea. The builder will almost certainly be a rogue and you will have no protection if the builder disappears nor will you have the means to get the work put right.”
“If you are thinking of having work done to your home then it is worth remembering the FMB’s guide to finding a builder. First, start by asking friends, family and neighbours to recommend a builder they have recently used. If you can’t get a recommendation the FMB’s ‘Find A Builder’ website (www.fmb.org.uk/findabuilder) can help. Secondly, ask at least three builders to come and quote on the work you want done and be as specific as you can. Thirdly, ask for references and if possible go and see the work and clients. Fourthly, when deciding which builder to use don’t just go with the cheapest as you need to feel comfortable with the builder you have chosen. Fifthly, make sure you use a contract which you can download free of charge from the FMB’s website (http://www.fmb.org.uk/find-a-builder/free-contracts/). Finally,never pay the full cost of the project up front. Instead you should agree a payment plan as part of the contract.”
Note to editors
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says 220,000 DIY enthusiasts are admitted to hospital each year. http://www.rospa.com/faqs/detail.aspx?faq=221
National Maintenance Week
Regular maintenance is vital for all properties, regardless of age, scale or purpose. Now in its ninth year, SPAB's annual National Maintenance Week brings practical and straightforward advice on maintenance and repairs to everyone who looks after a property. As usual, National Maintenance Week takes place at the end of November, just as winter weather threatens the worst.
For more information please visit: www.maintainyourbuilding.org.uk