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DIY or time to call an expert?

Channel 4’s Make Do and Mend presenter Jo Behari explains how you can save a small fortune by tackling some straightforward DIY jobs ourselves.

Sometimes we seem like a nation divided. There are those who love nothing more than a bit of DIY, while others would rather stick pins in their eyes than nails in the wall. If you fall into the latter camp, DIY lover and Channel 4’s Make Do and Mend presenter Jo Behari says maybe you need a rethink, and that by tackling some jobs ourselves, rather than calling in an expert, we can save a small fortune. She takes a look at some

DIY jobs that we can roll up our sleeves for.

A blocked sink

A blocked sink is normally due to a build-up of grease in the pipework, says Jo. The best thing is to prevent build-up by regularly putting a solution of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the drain to keep it clear.

If you have a blockage, you can dismantle the U-bend under the sink really easily, then pull out any gunge. Most pipes under sinks are plastic and are tightened by hand, so you don’t need any tools.

It’s not pleasant, but it’s not a job that requires a plumber and a bill for £100 or so.

Resealing around a bath

Another task we should take on, says Jo, is resealing around a bath. When the sealant gets a bit mouldy a lot of people don’t fix it quickly enough.

When you start to see the black, it is time to take out all the sealant – which you can do easily with a Stanley knife. You can buy silicon sealant and a cartridge gun from a DIY shop and just reseal the bath.

The mould you see on the surface is just the tip of the iceberg – you can guarantee there’s a lot more underneath. So the longer mouldy sealant is left, the worse it will get and, over time, it can cause problems with tiles and the wall.

Decorating

Decorating is also one of those jobs people should have a go at, says Jo, with the caveat that there’s a reason people train to be a decorator. If you want to do a basic spruce-up of a room and you’re limited by a budget, there’s no reason you can’t do that yourself, but you will always get a longer lasting and better finish if you use a professional decorator.

Decorating is not just about slapping paint on the walls, so remember to spend time on the prep work – filling, sanding, filling, sanding – to get a good result.

Jo is one of around 150 experts who provide DIY know-how and advice via video visits at the new DAD home repair app.

Emergency assistance

Did you know that Benenden Home Insurance customers enjoy 24-hour home emergency assistance (optional)? For an emergency such as a broken boiler or burst pipes, Benenden Home Insurance can help by quickly organising repairs by expert tradesmen. This includes securing your home after a break-in. Remember, Benenden members can get up to £50 to spend on an M&S gift card when buying Benenden Home Insurance.