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Five home improvement jobs you probably shouldn't attempt on your own

 article about home improvement
About the author: Neil Chapman blogs for – the best place to buy DIY-friendly feature wall murals online.

DIY disasters are the bane of budding home improvement experts everywhere and most of us have a terrible tale to tell. If you've had a sore thumb or stepped on a nail, never fear, it's a common problem. Research estimates that messy DIY jobs cost UK households in excess of three billion a year. That's a lot of unhappy wives. However, all will be forgiven if you leave the five key tasks to the experts. Here's a list of the top five home improvements that shouldn't be tackled alone.

Thinking of rewiring your electric supply? Think again. This is against UK law now yet doesn't stop plenty of would-be penny pinchers from shocking themselves annually. Stories of near-death experiences, jumping currents and singed fingertips are all too common in the online annals of DIY disasters and in truth, messing with the mains is seriously dangerous. Keep it real and call in the electrician. It's a day off work and a pain in the neck, but not quite so nasty as a cut wire in just the wrong place.

Got an infestation? It would be all too easy to take vigilante action. There are tales of dads all over the country donning top-to-toe ski gear and taking a tennis racket to that pesky wasps nest. Rats and mice can surely be finished off with a little poison or a few traps. Right? Wrong. What if Moggy or Rufus gets hold of bait and meets their Maker? Or even a small child? It doesn't bear thinking about. The other problem is your poison getting to the right place, but those pesky critters breathing their last under the fridge or down the side of a cupboard. Call in the experts and avoid a whole big stink of trouble.

Chopping up old furniture for wood seems practical and manly doesn't it? If you don't use the right tools for the job, and use them wisely, you'll be landing that axe or saw in the most regrettable of areas. At best, it's a near miss, at worst it's a severed leg. Be very, very careful and never chop alone. If an injury occurs there should be someone nearby to call the ambulance.

 article about home improvement
In the same vein (excuse the pun) cutting back your garden foliage can be risky. You're probably fine with a few trimmings and strimmings, but leave tree surgery to the trained professionals. From cutting down the branch being sat on, to knocking down conservatories, you've only to read the horror stories on this topic to get out your Yellow Pages.

Finally, the arch-nemesis of DIY guys everywhere. Plumbing. It always seems such a good idea at the time. All you have to do is unscrew a little, perhaps tap and bang a little and before you know it, you are quite literally up the proverbial creek without a paddle. If it involves sewage or pressured water, just stay away. Stick the kettle on, put your feet up and pick up the phone instead. There's no shame in it and believe me, your better half will thank you.

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