I'm a DIY expert and here are five times you should look on Youtube before calling a plumber to save thousands

HAVING to call out a specialist tradesman for jobs around the home can be an expensive business.

Although sometimes you need professional help, there are some jobs which, with a bit of research, you can tackle yourself.

Jo Behari, a DIY expert and TV presenter, said: "The first thing you need to think about is your appetite for risk.

"Some people will head straight into a massive bathroom refit themselves without ever having had any practical plumbing experience, others are absolutely terrified of painting a wall.

"The question you should be asking yourself is: if it goes wrong, are you going to be able to live with that and do you have some ability to fix it?

"So if you do decide to do a big bathroom refit yourself having never had any plumbing experience, do you have the budget to get somebody in if it does goes wrong?"

Crucially, it's important you are realistic about your capabilities - you won't be covered by your insurance if you try to DIY it and end up damaging your property, so if you're not sure it's best to call in the experts.

If you are set to go it alone, Jo recommends arming yourself with a basic toolkit before you start.

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It's also worth buying or borrowing a hammer, a spirit level, a tape measure of at least two metres and a drill, preferably a combi drill which can make holes in different surfaces.

Here are her the jobs she thinks most people should be able to tackle themselves:

Leaking taps

"Leaking taps normally just involve a washer that's worn out, which is easy to replace" she said.

"However, you need to be able to turn the water off."

The first thing she suggests doing before tackling any plumbing job is locate the stopcock and make sure that it works.

I'm a DIY expert and here are five times you should look on Youtube before calling a plumber to save thousands

It is also worth seeing whether you have isolation valves -little valves that go on to the water pipes beneath your taps, sink or toilet, which enable you to turn to water off to that particular thing.

Fitting a new tap

"Changing a set of taps in a bathroom or kitchen sink is a relatively easy job," Jo said.

You can buy new taps from DIY or kitchen retailers from as little as £20.

"The key for any of these jobs is to do your research beforehand, and to be prepared if something goes wrong," Jo added.

Fixing a toilet

If your toilet is constantly running, or the flush isn't working properly, you should be able to sort it without calling a professional.

"There are plenty of videos online which can show you what to do," said Jo.

"That way you can see what tools you need, what steps you need to take, and what pitfalls that you might come across along the way."

Non-concealed shower unit not working

"If your shower is electric or recessed then I would avoid trying to mend it," Jo warned.

"Anything that's recessed behind a wall is often tricky because it's going to involve removing tiles, breaking into a wall and then doing plumbing in very tight spaces."

But if you have a non-concealed shower unit that isn't working properly, you can change that yourself, she said.

Shower units generally cost £100 and up, but fitting it yourself could save you hundreds of pounds on labour compared to calling in a plumber.

Tackle low value projects

Jo recommends focusing your energy on projects that aren't going to cost you thousands of pounds to fix.

"I'd avoid anything that is of high value, such as a really expensive set of taps. It may be better to get a professional to fit those, just in case," she said.

She also warned against doing anything electrical, or related to gas, or jobs that needed you to go on to a roof.

"For anything that could have fatal consequences it's vital you get a proper tradesman in," she said.

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