DIYers coming unstuck

THOUSANDS of wannabe home renovators are ending up in hospital with injuries ranging from concussions to amputated fingers thanks to attempts at DIY.

Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed 3318 Australians were hospitalised as a result of an injury from a DIY job in a single year.

The most common causes of injuries were ladder-related falls (38 per cent) followed by powered hand tools and household machinery (29 per cent) and falls from buildings or structures (13 per cent).

Men accounted for 81 per cent of the wounded.

Digging further into the gory details, 11 per cent of powered saw related injuries were partial or complete amputation of a finger and 17 per cent of powered nail gun injuries resulted in an open palm wound.

DIYer and professional builder Chris Campbell, of Blue Built, said he had heard of plenty of amateurs coming off second best when attempting projects around the house.

"You often hear horror stories about chainsaws - people trying to cut back trees and the chainsaw kicks back into their face. I've also heard about grinder blades exploding and lots of people falling off ladders," the tradie said.

"Ladder injuries are probably the most common. A lot of older blokes push themselves too far and their balance isn't what it used to be."

Ladder-falls are the most common DIY injury. Photo: Thinkstock
Ladder-falls are the most common DIY injury. Photo: Thinkstock

Mr Campbell said another big risk for DIYers in Queensland was asbestos.

"Most people don't realise what's asbestos. Things like the glue under vinyl tiles, silicones used back in the day, the rope used in old ovens, downpipes and water pipes can all contain asbestos," he said.

"People will go smash a wall out not knowing its asbestos and they've gone and exposed their whole family to it.

"Get a professional in at the start to point out where (the asbestos) is, even if you don't want to remove it, just so you know where it is."

Being a qualified asbestos remover, Mr Campbell said he had seen plenty of DIY fails involving the material.

"I had one (homeowner) cut through asbestos. It got into the aircon and went through the house," he said.

"There were fibres on everything so every single personal possession including photos, couches and the TV had to be thrown out."

Handyman business, Hire A Hubby, surveyed Australians and found injuries weren't the only downside of amateur renovations.

Nearly one third had tried to fix something themselves only to make it worse, and close to 60 per cent had to call in an expert to fix the problem.

Brendan Green, Hire A Hubby executive officer, said people should stop and think before dabbling in DIY.

"Always look at your options before DIY - if you're confident, make sure you have the right tools and consider safety as a priority," he said.

"If the job is too much, call your local handyman and we'll come over do it for you."

Mr Campbell and his wife Tiffany have recently renovated their 1940 California bungalow in North Ipswich and even they found some things were beyond their expertise.

"The hardest thing was getting a good finish on the exterior paint," Ms Campbell said.

"We hired professional tools to try do it ourselves but it was a costly exercise.

"It looks easy but it's not when you've got 100-year-old paint and casement windows.

"In the end it was much easier to get professionals in."

Ms Campbell said as a non-professional there were still plenty of tasks she was comfortable tackling herself.

"Hanging curtains, sanding floors, puttying - it's all quite easy to do," she said.

"And give the internal painting a go. You can't fail at painting inside."

Mr Campbell said structural, wet area and electrical jobs should be left to qualified tradesmen.

"Legally you can't touch electrical and when it comes to structural jobs like decks, a lot of people build things that aren't to code because they don't know the right fixings or materials to use," he said.

"Don't attempt bathrooms unless you're a professional - they need to be waterproofed and they need to have falls a certain way.

"I had one bloke where we'd prepped the bathroom and he jumped the gun and tiled the floor himself.

"I turned the shower on and the water missed the drain and went out the door."

Alstonville cafe to be 'transformed' under new owners

Alstonville girl Jakirra Graham bought her own cafe and is the new owner and manager of The Crossing in Alstonville, formerly knows as Savannah Coffee Lounge.

The decision to buy the cafe was made virtually overnight

Drone malfunctions days after unmanned rescue

Westpac Little Ripper drone helped save the lives of two teens in trouble at a Lennox Head beach last week.

Fault found with unmanned aerial vehicle during training in Byron

Radio Rentals to pay out $20 million in refunds

Radio Rentals has been pulled up for past poor customer service.

Includes a $6.1m refund to customers and write-offs of default fees

Local Partners

Tesla's Elon Musk wagers ‘delusional’ $55b gamble

Tesla boss Elon Musk is known for his showmanship and bold predictions but his latest deal has his critics calling him “delusional”.

Man sues dating service after paying $88k per date

A man is suing a luxury dating service that left him $532,500 out of pocket.

A man hired a “luxury” dating service to find love instead found a money pit

Have we all been cooking sausages wrong?

Do you know how to cook sausages for maximum flavour? Picture: Supplied

But recommended method may take you a little longer...

Rusty back home after 3000km road trip

Pets & Animals

Rusty made his way to South Australia earlier this month

Bizarre sight shooting across the sky captured

Betty Seeney was at Cape Hillsborough attending an astrophotography workshop when she captured the 20 second exposure.

Once in a lifetime shot caught by amateur photographer

Apple’s smart speaker to hit Australian stores

The new Apple HomePod smart speaker will go on sale on February 9. Picture: AFP/Josh Edelson

Australians will be among the first to buy new device