DIY: It’s all in the preparation We know that spending more time at home, like we have all done in the last year, may at times make us all a little fed up of the same four walls. Take a look at our top tips to consider when turning your hand to DIY! Whether it’s making home work spaces more suitable for the long term, putting on a fresh lick of paint or buying new accessories to give your home a facelift – thousands in the UK have been turning their hand to DIY during lockdown to give their homes a revamp. As with all DIY, it’s about preparation, preparation, preparation. No matter the size of the project, before carrying out any type of DIY it’s best to check whether you’ll be covered under your home insurance, as mistakes and mishaps can end up being costly without the right cover! Accidental damage cover - check if you have this included in your policy as standard. If you don’t then it might be worth looking to add it as an optional extra to make sure you’re covered for accidents such as spilling paint on your carpet or drilling through a pipe or wire. Hire qualified professionals - make sure you hire a qualified professional for tasks if you’re not qualified yourself, such as electricals or plumbing – otherwise you may not be covered for any damage! Outdoor protection - if you’re planning some garden improvements, check that your home insurance policy includes damage to outdoor buildings like greenhouses or sheds. Contents policy - if it’s new furnishings that you’re buying for your home, check whether the sum insured on your contents policy is still suitable. If you need to increase it then get in touch with your insurer. Bigger projects - if it’s a much bigger project like a structural renovation, loft conversion or extension, then make sure to contact your insurer before you start as they can assess whether your buildings insurance cover needs to be increased. Having the right cover in place makes it much easier to get on with the fun bit! So here are some of our hints and tips to keep it fun and help avoid those little mishaps: Adding a fresh lick of paint? Before you get cracking, make sure to remove or cover furniture that could get damaged and ensure the floor is well protected. Remember to fully prep your surfaces to help give a long-lasting finish. Start by cleaning the walls, sand them down, patch up any holes and apply a coat of primer! Is there a pipe? Before you hang a mirror, artwork or add shelving, use a wire and pipe detector to find out what’s behind your wall, especially if you’re in the kitchen or bathroom. Hitting a fixed pipe can lead to water damage and is a common DIY issue! Testing those green fingers? As we move into the warmer weather your garden may need a little TLC. Take the time to freshen up your soil and take out those weeds, and don’t forget to clear out leaves from guttering that may have accumulated over the colder months! Warmer months provide a great opportunity to do some of your indoor projects with your windows and doors open to give your house good ventilation. Preparation often reduces the risks associated with attempting DIY or home improvement, so as you prep for your projects, make sure you include your insurance on your checklist! Newcastle Building Society can provide quotes for home insurance. Find out more here.