DIY wonders vary in triviality and consequence. Take home improvement as an example: Common mistakes include buying the wrong supplies, using the wrong paint on the wrong surface and failing to get the right permits – which can result in costly fines.
But according to national data from the Injury Control Council of WA, getting the wrong person for the job can not only be expensive, it can be dangerous.
According to this data, in Victoria alone , at least 2,000 people are seriously injured annually carrying out DIY work. The story is no better in Queensland, where in one and a half years, 562 injuries associated with the use of tools in the home and 148 injuries associated with using lawnmowers or line trimmers were recorded. That’s more than 700 DIY home maintenance injuries.
Wrong way, go back.
DIY car repairs don’t fare much better. More than 10 per cent of DIY injuries in the same period were sustained while performing vehicle maintenance, while if you incorrectly service your own car it can result in damage to the car – increasing the costs you were hoping to save.
Particularly when it comes to modern cars, with sophisticated computers and electronics, not knowing the intricacies (despite understanding the basics) can result in an inefficient vehicle that costs you more money to run and more money to fix.
So while ‘DIY Car Fails’ make us laugh on the internet, they’re another example of our cavalier attitude resulting in avoidable costs.
Is there a search engine in the house?
It’s not just our houses and cars that get the DIY treatment. We also do it with our health.
According to reports, more than one third of Americans use the internet to diagnose medical conditions. In the UK, it’s reported that 25 per cent of women misdiagnose by going straight to ‘Dr Google’.
That’s really not something to play with.
Getting solar right.
That culture of getting the wrong person for the job applies to solar installation as well.
Sure, it probably won’t result in a trip to the emergency room, but getting the wrong people to install your solar can be as costly as a DIY fail. Every home is different so there are a lot of variables to take into account.
For example, in Australia, solar panels can either be north, northeast, northwest or west facing to make sure they have maximum exposure to the sun. AGL installers use home digital mapping software to ensure they get it right.
So whether it’s getting your car fixed, climbing a ladder or getting solar panels installed, it always pays to talk to someone who knows what they’re doing.