Category Archives: Handyman

Are your builder’s legs worth more than a million?

home-buildingTaylor Swift might have insured her legs for £26m, but British builders are also putting a high price on their body parts!

The average builder sees his or her legs as crucial tools of the trade, and as such believes they are worth £1,185,000*. Engineers and lawyers have put the price of their limbs at £1.2 million whilst, interestingly, telecoms workers value their legs even more highly, at £1.9 million!

The research has been carried out by family insurance brand There®, which asked 2,000 professionals in 20 different industries to put an insurance value on different body parts to highlight their impact on earning potential. From the results, a builder’s legs would appear more valuable than those of a doctor or nurse, which were deemed to be worth £1,140,000 on average. Shop workers, meanwhile – who are on their feet a lot – think their legs are worth £1,045,000.

Eyes were the most valued part of the body, followed by face, hands and legs. Engineers topped the table with an insurance value on their eyes of £3.4m, followed by plumbers and electricians at £3.1m and telecoms workers at £2.6m. Plumbers and electricians also put one of the highest price tags on their hands, at £2.2m, with their index finger alone being worth £1,196,107 in the event of them losing their income.

builders-on-siteThere® marketing managerPhilippa McLaglen said recent news of Taylor Swift insuring her legs for £26m – or $40m – isn’t as crazy as it seems. “They’re part of the Taylor Swift brand and so can affect her earning power,” she said. “Similarly damage to a builder’s leg or an engineer’s eye could have a big impact on their earning potential.”

The research also highlighted a difference between self-employed and employed workers, with self-employed builders more likely to value their bodies. More than half (57%) of self-employed people think insurance against injury is a sensible precaution, whilst 64% feel more pressure to take care of their physical well-being because they are self-employed.

Your building project is unlikely to be worth £1m, but if you are sourcing a builder, here are some tips to consider:

  • Ask for recommendations from friends or neighbours. Do some online research and read reviews
  • Get at least three quotes, asking the firm to include the cost of things such as clearing up and waste disposal. The cheapest isn’t necessarily the best value for money
  • Be clear about what you want, putting it in writing if necessary
  • Consider the start date. You might be delighted if the builder is available tomorrow… but good builders tend to be booked at least a few weeks in advance
  • NEVER book a builder who cold calls, and trust your instincts!

* Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of There® surveying 2,000 UK workers across 20 industries, August 2015.

Avoid a DIY botch job this bank holiday!

diyThis weekend, chances are you’ll either be jetting off for some late summer sunshine, sewing nametags into school uniforms or indulging in a spot of DIY. The three-day August bank holiday is the perfect chance to carry out a big project or several odd jobs – but, unfortunately, this favourite hobby can all too often end in tears!

Before you get started, read our guide to make sure your bank holiday plans are brilliant, not botched!

The best laid plans

Don’t jump straight in without careful planning and preparation. Think about what you need to do and how long it’s going to take; many DIY projects fail because they end up being rushed. Don’t be embarrassed about popping to your local DIY store and asking for advice – staff will be happy to help and you’ll probably come away with tips for other tasks, too!

Well equipped

Line up in advance all the tools needed for the job. If you don’t already have a toolbox, buy an inexpensive one and fill it with basics such as a hammer, pliers, crosshead and flathead screwdrivers, a measuring tape, superglue and a spirit level, as well as spare nails and screws in a range of sizes.

A clean sweep

Think the cleaning is only done after DIY? Wrong! Cleaning the area you are working in beforehand will make the job go more smoothly and result in a nicer finish. Wash any surfaces that are to be painted, spend time masking off floors and covering furniture and vacuum up dust as you go along.

Dressed for success

It’s obvious that DIY should be done in old clothes, but think about safety too. Don’t wear loose clothes that could get caught in power tools and tie long hair back. Dust masks are a good idea when sanding and painting, whilst safety goggles are a must when using electric tools and drills.

diy-paintingQuality counts

When it comes to painting, budget isn’t always best. Very cheap paints can require more coats, whilst poor quality brushes will leave you peeling bristles out of your handiwork. Opt for at least the mid-priced range and always clean brushes and trays thoroughly after use.

Measuring up

Measure twice, cut once, so the saying goes. Be thorough and don’t guess. Err on the side of caution and take a bit off at a time if you’re not confident – you can always cut more off but it’s harder to stick some back on! 

Start small

If you’re new to DIY, tackle a few small jobs first to get used to your tools and gain confidence. Re-grout tiles, put up a shelf or repaint a table before attempting to replace a radiator or install a new kitchen! A good tip is to practice on jobs in small rooms or out-of-the-way corners, such as the downstairs loo. If things go wrong, it’s easily covered up and not on show in the best room in the house! 

Ask the experts!

It’s always advisable to hire a qualified professional if the job involves electrics or plumbing and, similarly, if DIY just isn’t your ‘thing’, admit defeat and stick to what you’re good at! Wait until you have several small tasks in need of attention and ask friends or relatives to recommend an odd job man (or woman!), many of whom charge a daily or half daily rate. Thousands of people are admitted to hospital every year following DIY disasters, and a botched job could even invalidate your home insurance, so don’t let your pride lead to a monumental fall!

Also see: Decorating dos and don’ts

Milk Tray man? We’d prefer a handyman!

diy-bathroom
Image: Heritage Bathrooms

Forget the chocolates and overpriced flowers – all women want this Valentine’s Day is a handyman to help overhaul their home!

Traditionally, February 14th is a day for loved-up couples to paint the town red but, this year, it seems we’ll settle for just the paint! Research from specialists Heritage Bathrooms reveals that, whilst a third of women would opt for champagne and traditional gifts, the majority would prefer the money to be spent on redecorating the house!

According to Heritage Bathrooms, the cost of Valentine’s Day, including gifts, dining out and travel, is expected to reach just over £200. Yet many women in the UK would prefer that money to be diverted towards home improvements, with almost half (43%) of those questioned otherwise expecting to spend, at the most, £500 on updating the décor in their homes throughout the entire year.

When asked how they would like to utilise a handyman’s time, 45% of respondents said they would stretch to a bigger £1,500 budget and get as many rooms as possible in the home finished or updated. Another 35% would use the same budget but focus on a single project, such as updating an ageing bathroom.

valentines-dayHeritage Bathrooms’ marketing manager Claire Jennings says: “Our research suggests that, post-recession, people are looking to make lasting investments in their homes. We’re not surprised by the findings of our research and think that occasions like Valentine’s Day are the perfect opportunity to request more practical gifts from our loved ones.”

The research also shows that, when looking to move house, almost four in 10 women would seek a property in need of redecorating in the living areas but boasting designer statements elsewhere. For a third of men, however, newly painted walls and new carpets throughout would be the clincher in making an offer.

Claire adds: “Men like to have the final say on a colour choice in the home but, when it comes to bigger projects like the bathroom or kitchen, it’s women who lead the design choice.”