If you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and start on your first DIY project at home, there’s a few things you need to know. Of course, nothing is as satisfying as repairing or creating something at home with your bare hands. It’s an exhilarating feeling. But if you’ve never done something like this before, you’re probably nervous.
Here’s what you need to know before you get started:
Understand your skills
Walk before you can run. Take things slow and never try to do something you don’t feel fully prepared for. You may have read about bathroom and kitchen repairs online, but nothing can prepare you for actually doing it yourself.
The reason most people try doing simple repairs and construction work by themselves is to cut costs. But you need to know your limits. Find out if you have the skills needed for the job before you [get started. If you don’t, either develop the skills or hire someone else. Getting a friend to help might be a good option.
Understand the risks
Botching a DIY project could be risky. There’s a lot that can go wrong and you need to take all the safety precautions before you climb up that ladder or try fixing the electrical wiring at home. The best approach is to never take on a project you don’t fully understand and to contract professionals. If you’re not sure about how the plumbing works or how the roof is set, it’s best to just let it go.
Know when to let go
Some projects are better left to the experts. Building a patio or deck, for example, is best left to an experienced carpenter. Minor repairs, plumbing, fixing the roof, changing the carpet can all be done by yourself. But step away from any project that needs advanced design skills or an expert. Messing up a DIY project is likely to cost you a lot more than simply hiring out an expert in the first place.
Stick to the budget
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re working on something entirely by yourself. But repairs and renovations can go really over the budget and diminish the value of the property. As a rule of thumb, try to keep repair costs within 10% of the overall value. Use retail prices to see if your bathroom extension or new cupboard is worth the time and effort you’ll spend by yourself.
It takes some getting used to, but over time you’ll be able to create a budget and stick to it with discipline.
Prepare for the unexpected
DIY projects are an adventure and you should probably expect the unexpected. Prepare for damage, missing parts, botched repairs, unusual designs and complicated wiring. Every house and every project is entirely unique, and that’s all part of the thrill of doing something by yourself.
Responsible and well planned DIY projects are bound to save you a lot of money and help satisfy your need for a challenge. Have fun!