DIY disasters are costing Aussie households hundreds

Jarrod Brown
By Jarrod Brown
4 Min Read

DIY projects are on the rise as Aussies attempt to keep budgets down. But new data reveals our ‘have-a-go’ mentality is costing us more in the long run.

A national survey from Australia’s largest online tradie marketplace, hipages, found that nearly 4.2 million households had caused a DIY disaster in the last 12 months.

Over two-thirds (69 per cent) admit to attempting a ‘do-it-yourself’ job in an effort to avoid paying inflated tradie prices and speed up the home improvement process, most commonly taking on smaller projects like painting (43 per cent), cabinetry (21 per cent), landscaping and gardening (33 per cent). 

However, what really alarmed tradies was the spike in everyday Aussies taking on jobs usually performed by specialists such as plumbing-related jobs (26 per cent) and installing new tiling in the bathroom and kitchen (18 per cent).

VP of Marketing at hipages, Nicholas Ellery, said the “concerning” trend could see the price of repairs actually cost homeowners more in the long run. 

“Not only are these jobs extremely detail orientated, but there are multiple safety elements that need to be considered that only a qualified tradie will recognise,” he told Build-it.

“For example, if you tried to complete the work of a tiler or plumber and waterproof your bathroom, you run the risk of not complying with local regulations.

“Many jobs around the house require proper licensing and this is just one of them.”

Unsurprisingly, 41 per cent of homeowners said a DIY Disaster was mostly likely to occur in the bathroom, followed closely by the kitchen at 32 per cent, with the average cost of repairs seeing homeowners fork out $500 or more. 

According to Ex-The Block contestants and partners of the organisation, Kyal and Kara, it’s these rooms in particular that need extra time and attention form qualified trades.

“Bathrooms and kitchens are arguably the most important rooms in the home,” they said. 


Eeekkk, that’s a shower screen fail. What’s the best way to prevent a DIY Disaster? Post a job on @hipages and get up to three quotes from trusted tradies. What about you guys, are you team door or no door in a shower? #DIYDisasters #DIYfails #DIYadvice #hipages #Tradie

♬ original sound – Kyal & Kara Demmrich

“But given they both feature running water and expensive fixtures/appliances, even seemingly simple projects like painting require expertise. 

“In our years of experience building Aussie dream homes, we always encourage homeowners to bring on a professional in order to get the best result possible.”

Do the research before picking up the tools

Since there’s no stopping a nation who loves getting their hands dirty from taking on DIY projects, Ellery urged all homeowners to do the research before picking up the tools. 

“The first, and arguably most important step of any home reno or repair project starts before you even pick up the tools, and that’s doing your research,” he told Build-it.

“Look online for price guides, speak with tradies and familiarise yourself with what is involved in a project to determine what you can and can’t do yourself.  

“For any major work, learn what restrictions and regulations apply to your local area as this will vary from state to state.”

For those unsure of how to tackle a project, Ellery said Aussies should absolutely consider involving a qualified tradie from the beginning. 

“A vast majority of Aussies (86%) say they’ll bring in a qualified tradie next time they need a job done around the house,” he said.

“Not only does this provide a stronger chance for a job well done, but you could save yourself money without needing to pay on average up to $500 on expensive repairs from DIY projects gone wrong.”

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.