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11 DIY hacks to avoid

Doing it yourself can save time and money but there are some tasks that are best left to the professionals

By House & Garden South Africa | October 18, 2021 | Category

Picture: Pexels
Picture: Pexels

At some point of our adult lives we have all felt the urge to take a trip to the hardware store to pick up the toolkit needed for the latest DIY hack we spotted on our favourite Tik Tok account or YouTube channel.

However, as handy as DIY hacks may be, there are some tasks that are just better left for the professionals to complete.

Confused.com recently did some research into which popular TikTok hacks are actually safe to undertake at home.

Home insurance expert at Confused.com, Jessica Willock, says ensuring that you have the appropriate home insurance to protect yourself and your home before undertaking any big DIY project is important.

“With limited access to tradespeople during the pandemic and more spare time on our hands, it’s no wonder that so many people have been turning to TikTok for inspiration for their next home DIY project. Not all information on TikTok is reliable however, and by carrying out these projects without professional assistance, some DIY enthusiasts may risk damaging their home in the process,” says Willock.

Confused.com consulted carpenter and DIY expert, Peter Hodgins, who ranked different TikTok DIY hacks to reveal which are professionally approved and which may risk damaging your home.

By rating each TikTok hack out of five, the research revealed that 39% of the DIY tips analysed were ranked as either ‘terrible’ or 'bad’ as a result of either poor finish or safety concerns. At the bottom end of the scale were tips like using stick on tiles for fireplaces, painting with a sock, painting sinks and painting decking with a floor brush.

According to Hodgins these are the 11 DIY Tik Tok hacks you should definitely avoid.

1. Painting decking with a floor brush

2. Cleaning with drills

3. Cement worktops

4. Floor stencils

5. Fake bricks

6. Painting sinks

7. Stick on tiles

8. Grouting pens

9. Painting with a sock

10. Duct tape backsplash

11. Stick on tiles for fireplace

Each of the analysed hacks were scored according to how likely they were to damage your home or cause injury. On a scale of one to five, tips that scored a one were marked as ‘this is terrible – do not do this’, and a score of five was classed as ‘this is great – would highly recommend.

Almost 40% (39%) of the hacks were marked as a one (terrible), or two (bad), both of which weren’t recommended. Less than a third (32%) received the professional seal of approval with a score of four or five, and just over a quarter were marked as ‘this is not great, proceed with caution'.

“With all the extra time we’ve had at home over the past 18 months, so many people have done a spot of DIY on their homes, some successfully and others not quite as well.

“Unfortunately, watching a few TikTok videos does not make you an expert in building or plumbing, and this can sometimes mean that people are left disappointed with the finish, functionality and even safety of their DIY home hacks.

“If you’re unsure about how to do a certain task, it’s always best to consult a professional to ensure you’re going to be left feeling happy with the results of your home project,” says Hodgins.