When you need something done around the home, do you do it yourself or call in the experts and pay for a professional finish? Perhaps your strategy is a mixture of the two? There are some jobs around the house that might be a quick fix but undertaking larger projects with little knowledge can call for the help of an expert to avoid any DIY mishaps. Be honest, is there some room for improvement when it comes to your household’s collective DIY skills? What’s your strategy for being DIY ready when renovation jobs and repairs crop up? Let’s take a look at your options.
Know when to seek help
A bit of know-how and proper kit can go a long way when it comes to getting DIY done, but it’s also important to know when to seek expert help. Getting the balance between enthusiasm for DIY and being realistic about your capabilities will help to prevent both minor and major accidents and injury.
Research suggests that a significant percentage of homeowners who have carried out their own home updates have been left injured as a result. And in some countries, a DIY boom was blamed for an increased number of visits to hospitals with power tool related injuries, though falling off a ladder is still the most common DIY related injury. Men aged 55 and over are reportedly those most at risk of a DIY related injury, so if you have a friend or relative who needs a few jobs done around the house, perhaps you could offer them help in getting the job done or sourcing some quotes from professionals?
Do a part-time course
Armed with a multitude of how to videos on YouTube and manufacturer’s instructions, you may feel pretty confident that you can take on any DIY task that crops up. Overconfidence has been the downfall of many DIY enthusiasts and for jobs like plumbing, tiling or household electrics, those without relevant experience and training can fall victim to DIY catastrophe. If you’re interested in saving money long term and having the satisfaction of being able to tackle more complicated DIY jobs yourself, why not investigate your training options? Many colleges offer introductory life skills courses on topics from wallpapering through to bathroom plumbing, and they’re usually priced very affordably too. Look up your local college online, and you may find you’re able to take a part-time evening course or even a weekend course in your chosen DIY skill. For the commitment of just a few hours you could add some valuable skills to your DIY arsenal and who knows, you may unlock a new passion too.
Invest in some kit
Being ill-equipped for the jobs isn’t just about lack of experience; often it’s a simple case of not having the correct tools for a project. Do you have a basic household tool kit? If you do, what’s in it? Building up a set of tools can be an expensive project in itself, so you may want to add some of the costlier items to gift wish lists, or you could consider hiring specialist tools as and when jobs crop up. Here are few ideas of useful tools to get your collection started.
- Toolbox – You don’t want to lose bits of kit
- Screwdriver kit – Small and large and of the flat and Philips variety
- Cordless drill – Cordless drills are so much easier to work with when you’re putting things together
- Spanner – One of the tools every house needs
- Pliers – For gripping, shaping and snipping
- Spirit level – For making sure everything is ship shape and perfectly in line
- Hammers – You’ll want something small like a claw hammer for lifting up nails and a heavier hammer too
- Tape measure – Another must have for every home
- Plane – For a smoother finish on simple carpentry jobs indoors and out
- Nail gun – For when using a hammer is too much hard work
- Air compressor – For use with air tools and speeding up a host of jobs including cleaning
- Saws – Start with a hand saw as a minimum
- Torch – Keep on in your toolbox to help you see what you’re doing in confined spaces and in case of power failure
Would you be prepared to invest a little money and commit some time to bettering your DIY skills for the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done it yourself? Or would you prefer to pay someone else to do a job for you?