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  Posted by: electime      28th October 2020

 Thriller writer Sophie Draper has given Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ a dramatic makeover in a new short story released this week. Entitled ‘A Bloody Mess’ and commissioned by Checkatrade, the UK’s number one website for finding a tradesperson, the book is based on the real-life DIY shockers that have been encountered up and down the country and features illustrations from comic book artist Amrit Birdi.

The book was inspired by tales of DIY disasters shared on social media and from the anecdotes of Checkatrade members who have been called in to clean up the mess. The plot sees Jonathan Harker recast as a decorator called in to revamp Dracula’s castle only to find himself facing DIY nightmares of epic proportions – including red paint seeping like blood from a hole in the ceiling and patterned, chrysanthemum yellow wallpaper horrifyingly hung upside down.

Research among 2,000 UK adults reveals the extent to which the book is rooted in fact not fiction. Almost half (47 per cent) of Brits admit to having had a DIY disaster with bad paint jobs (34 per cent) and cut fingers/toes (30 per cent) the most common DIY mishaps. Plastering a wall (34 per cent), hanging wallpaper (31 per cent) and fixing a blocked toilet (31 per cent) top the list of DIY duties Brits dread and 46 per cent admit they are now scared to try. In fact, 62 per cent of Brits would rather call in a tradesman than tackle a task themselves for fear of DIY catastrophe.

Award-winning thriller writer, Sophie Draper, said: “It may be short but this story was huge fun to write – it’s based on an absolute classic but modified to reflect those modern-day nightmares all homeowners can relate to, adding an extra level of spooky domestic suspense. I loved the idea that a building project might be transposed to darkest Transylvania, and my biggest challenge was which of the multitude of DIY disaster scenarios to feature.”

Mike Fairman, CEO of Checkatrade, commented: “Many of us are willing to take a stab at some household tasks, we might even relish the challenge, but alongside the triumphs come the inevitable DIY difficulties and horror stories. As such, the prospect of tackling mysterious dripping noises, baffling blockages and shocking electrics can prove all too daunting, especially at this time of year, so the moral of this story is that it could be well worth calling in a qualified expert if you find yourself in a fix.”

“At Checkatrade, we’re committed to making it as easy and safe as possible for people to find vetted trade experts so your home renovations and repairs don’t turn into a nightmare. We do at least 12 checks on every single member, meaning our verified tradespeople are second to none when it comes to planning your next home project.”

Checkatrade search trends show there has been a year-on-year surge in consumers contacting plasterers (+92.2 per cent), electricians (+99.6 per cent) and tilers (+126.4 per cent) in the last month.

To download Sophie Draper and Checkatrade’s new ‘A Bloody Mess’ eBook and learn more about how Checkatrade professionals can help you avoid or repair those DIY disasters, visit https://www.checkatrade.com/blog/news/halloween-ebook-real-life-diy-horror-stories/.