So, you’ve set your mind to putting up shelves or tiling your bathroom. Or maybe you’ll hang a new light fixture. Awesome! Do-it-yourself jobs around the house can save you money and give you a chance to be as proud as a peacock of the work you get done.
However, DIY projects aren’t without risk! A can-do attitude is key, but there are also practical tips and safety guidelines to keep in mind to keep you safe — and sane. And your home looking great, of course.
First thing’s first: is the project you have in mind really a DIY job, or should it be done by a pro? Many electrical and plumbing tasks shouldn’t be done yourself, for example. But a quick search online should give some answers. If, after some research, you think you’re up to it, do a bit more research on tools and techniques. There are plenty of how-to videos and articles out there. Knowledge is power, after all.
Every household should have a basic tool kit. Stocked with a tape measure, hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, spirit level, and a selection of nails and screws. But sanding a wall or putting up shelves is mighty hard without the right tools! Take note of what your project needs and either invest in the right tools or look into hiring them from a local hardware store.
If you want to renovate without making a mess, you need to prepare. Apart from having the right tools, you need to get the space ready. This may include clearing furniture, taping, or protecting with drop cloths.
Also, have a heart-to-heart with yourself about time. Will it take an afternoon or multiple days? It is not uncommon for a DIY job to be left half-finished, leaving the occupants to live among the mess. A good rule of thumb is to add 50% to however long you think the project will take you. Better safe than sorry!
We cannot stress this enough. Turn the power off at the mains if you are doing anything with — or near — electricity. If you’re not sure how to do this, seek professional guidance.
There is a saying, ‘measure twice, cut once.’ Most DIY mishaps happen when the project is rushed or when guesses are made instead of precise measurements. Give yourself time and space to work safely. Be accurate and measure carefully. Not having to hire a professional to fix a botched DIY project could save you a lot of time and money in the end!
If at any moment you feel unsure or unsafe, stop and seek professional help or at least get a second opinion.
Got a DIY project in mind? If you’re painting, discover the best way to set up your space here. If it’s a bigger renovation, learn how to avoid unnecessary mess here.