There are two main motivations for wanting to work on projects around the house and yard. One is to save money, the other is because you enjoy DIY projects. Now no-one is going to argue that saving money isn’t important, especially when you are on a tight budget, and it’s true that employing contractors and tradespeople can be costly. There’s no reason not to have a go at some DIY, but before you get all your kit out and start firing up the electric drill, do a bit of preparation to make sure you keep yourself and your family safe.
Jobs you should start with as a newbie
If you haven’t got a lot of experience and you don’t do practical work very often, you need to start with some basic tasks to give you a flavor of what is involved and make sure you’ve got the skills and the interest to do a job well. If you start swinging the sledgehammer at a connecting wall so you can make two rooms into one, that is a major undertaking and if you find you hate doing it and it’s too difficult for you to tackle, you’ve already made a huge mess everywhere – and if you didn’t check whether the wall was load-bearing, you may discover the bath is now on the kitchen floor.
Do some research
You can find instructional videos on how to do just about anything on the Internet, so if you have a project in mind, see what you can find online to help you. Do make sure that the person whose tutorial you are watching is someone who knows what they are doing before you copy their methods. You can also find detailed lists of instructions on the Internet, which you may find easier than trying to follow a video when you’re in the middle of a job. Make sure you know not only how a task should be performed, but also any safety procedures, specialist materials or equipment required and any legal implications. Try and find several sources of information that you can compare to be reassured that you’re on the right track, and don’t skip any of the stages so that you can get started.
Jobs best left to the experts
There are some jobs in the home that you shouldn’t tackle for safety reasons. Electricals are one example; while it might be ok to change a plug, anything to do with wiring is best avoided. Leave it to a qualified electrician, or you could end up having a nasty shock. Working on your roof is also fraught with danger. People are killed and paralyzed every year after falling from their roofs, and it just isn’t worth the risk. You’re much better off getting an experienced roofing company in, who have the expertise and equipment and know how to work safely at heights. Some tasks, while not dangerous, do require more skill than you might realize. If you’ve ever watched a plasterer at work, they make it look like a piece of cake but have a go yourself, and you’ll find it takes skill and a lot of practice to get a perfectly flat, smooth finish.
Choose the right jobs and be confident in the correct way to carry them out, and you can be proud of your accomplishments.