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22 Sep 2020
Jamie Gibbs Alice Campion

DIY in the home: What do I need to tell my insurer about?


Paint, tins and brushes on the floor

Have a long list of outstanding DIY projects? Now’s the perfect time to do them. But what jobs does your insurer need to know about?

What better way to spend your weekend than tackling some long-overdue DIY projects. A lick of paint can give a room a new sense of purpose. Renovating a whole room could even boost your home's value.

If you’ve successfully put up a couple of shelves you might be fancying yourself as the next Handy Andy. But before you starting knocking down walls, there are some jobs that you should tell your home insurance company about.


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What are the most expensive rooms to renovate?

According to our research, the most expensive rooms to renovate are:*

Room Average cost to renovate 
Kitchen  £5,219
Conservatory £3,550
Bathroom £3,340
Living room £2,778
Playroom** £2,630

With that kind of money behind these projects, it's worth knowing when you need to update your policy.

READ MORE: The UK's home renovation habits


What jobs don’t I need to let my insurer know about?

You don’t need to let your insurer know about any basic DIY jobs. This includes jobs like replacing new carpets, putting up shelves, wall-papering or painting.

So dust off your steamer, unleash your drill bits and get stuck in.


What jobs do I need to let my insurer know about?

Your insurer needs to know if you’re doing building work that affects the value of your home.

For example, anything structural like loft conversions or knocking a wall through. Even if you’re replacing all the windows for double glazing.

When it comes to kitchen or bathroom refits, it depends on the size of the job.

If it’s going to involve a fair amount of building work, then it’s best to give them a heads up. But standard refits should be fine.

They’ll also be thinking about any work that could damage valuables or compromise your home security.

If in doubt, speak to your home insurance provider. Every policy is different so it’s always worth checking.


Will my insurance cover me for a botched DIY job?

In some instances, yes. Genuine mishaps like putting your foot through the ceiling or bursting a water pipe while putting up a picture should be covered.

There’s a grey area, though. Always stick to jobs you’re qualified to do. Unfortunately, watching ten YouTube tutorials on unblocking a drain doesn’t make you a plumber.

So if you have a go and something goes drastically wrong, your insurer may not pay out. As always, check your policy wording.

If in doubt, get a tradesman with liability insurance to help you with the job.

Read more: Home insurance accidental damage explained


Are there any gardening jobs that I need to let my insurer know about?

Again, anything cosmetic you can crack on with. This includes paving, general gardening, even putting up a shed.

These won’t really have an impact on what your home is worth so there’s no need to let your insurer know.

But you may need to disclose extensions, porches, and sometimes even summerhouses. As most of the time these will require some building work.


What could add value to my home?

Some of these could potentially add value to your home, for example:

  • A home extension

  • A loft conversion

  • A new kitchen or bathroom

  • Improving energy efficiency e.g. adding solar panels.

Other factors affect house prices though, like location, size and layout of the house, and proximity to schools. So none of these renovations are guaranteed to add value to your home.

That being said, there’s no harm in giving your home a facelift – and if it adds value then that’s a bonus.

You can find out what other factors affect the value of your home in our guide.


*Figures taken from omnibus research carried out by OnePoll on behalf of This was an online poll of 2,000 UK homeowners (nationally representative sample). The research was conducted between 3 July and 10 July 2020.

** 'Playroom' described a dedicated room for play that isn't a bedroom.


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