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As we grow up, buy houses, have kids and families and generally go about living an adult life, we might start to tackle the odd DIY project. At some point in life, you have to stop phoning your dad to come around and change lightbulbs, and you just have to have a go for yourself. Then suddenly you are putting up shelves and building flatpack like a pro.
But, even then you might have some reservations when it comes to taking on anything more significant than flatpack and picture hooks. The idea of renovating a room, installing a new kitchen or laying new flooring might bring you out in a cold sweat. You might find yourself thinking of all of the things that could go wrong and how many mistakes you might make.
DIY, however, is a great way to save money. Often, when we buy something like a new kitchen, the installation charges are more expensive than the kitchen itself. Now, I’m not suggesting that you bulldoze in and remove your kitchen as your first big job. But, starting to have a go at more serious DIY can help you to gain experience, hone your skills and learn more about home improvements. Over the years, being able to do more around your home can keep it safe and well-looked after and save you a fortune. You might even mind that you enjoy DIY once you start to develop your skills and grow in confidence. It also means that you’ll be ready when your own kids start to call you over to help with smaller jobs that they aren’t ready for.
For most small jobs around the house, you don’t need a massive tool kit with all of the gadgets and supplies. You can often make do with a simple tool kit filled with essentials like a hammer, a screwdriver and heads set, a small drill, spanners, pliers and Allen keys. But, as you start to take on harder jobs, you might find that you don’t have the tools that you need. When this happens, look here on Straight Kerfs for stands and other equipment that will allow you to complete your job well, and safely. Don’t ever just try to make do with what you’ve got. It’s worth doing things correctly.
When we’re apprehensive, we often rush into a job. Keen to get started and put our worries to rest. But, failing to plan can be a massive mistake when it comes to DIY.
Before you think about getting started, do some research. Read up on the job that you are about to tackle. Ask for advice and opinions, create a plan of what needs doing, make sure you’ve got the right tools and parts, and that you know exactly what you need to do. If there is anything that you feel uncomfortable about, do more research, watch DIY videos on YouTube and learn as much as you can.
You might have a vague idea of how much the job will cost. But that’s not enough. Failing to budget means that you don’t know how much you will be spending in each phase of your job. It means that you are more likely to overspend, or spend too much on some elements, not leaving enough for others.
Create a budget before you get started. Research how much things are likely to cost and shop around to save money. Try to leave at least 10% of your budget free, to cover mistakes, repairs and other emergencies.
So many of us are completely useless when it comes to reading instructions. We rush in, figuring that we’ll learn as we go. When it comes to DIY, this can be a costly error. If you are using something that you’ve never used before, read the instructions and guidance and follow them. Even when facing simple jobs like painting, you should read the advice on the tin, and stick to it if you want a job done well.
You might have an idea of when you want your job to be completed. But, if at all possible, see this as a loose deadline. Give yourself enough time that you can take things slowly and give each job your full focus before moving on to the next. Putting pressure on yourself to finish a task early usually leads to mistakes, and the job taking much longer.
Yes, DIY is a great way to save money and get your home exactly as you’d like it. But, you need to know your limits. As someone with minimal DIY experience, do you think you should be taking on plumbing or messing with appliances that use gas? No, your strengths and weaknesses, and don’t take on anything that you don’t think that you can do.
Even then, you might find mid-way through a job things are going wrong, and you don’t know what to do. You might find that you can’t take things any further, or that you have made a mistake which could lead to further damage to your home. When this happens, don’t even try to fix things, just call in a professional to help.
So many people start a big household project without thinking about how the work will affect their lives. If you are going to be without a bathroom, how will you live? What are your options? Think about whether or not you can still live in your house while the work is being completed, and consider any changes that you could make to make life easier.
Always measure absolutely everything at least twice. If the two are different, measure again. Double check every single calculation before taking action and you are less likely to make mistakes.
Your first job can be scary. But, planning reduces the chances of things going wrong. If you plan appropriately, you should be able to let yourself have some fun.
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