Is DIY for you? What should you ask yourself before engaging in DIY work on your property?
Consider some of the areas where you could save money by doing it yourself: Projects in the bathroom; bedroom; dining room; games rooms; garage; home office; kitchen; landscape; living room; patio & decks.
Bear in mind that not all DIY jobs you do on your home will increase the value of your home.
Painting and decorating your home, for example, can be very worthwhile. It isn't likely to put much value on your property, but it will of course make it far more saleable.
Count The Cost
Before ever starting a job, work out its cost. You will find that a comparison of the charges of a skilled professional with the cost of materials for what you would need to do it yourself will be revealing. But do not forget the hidden extras. What are they?
Many professionals guarantee that their work will meet a certain standard at a specified time. If they fail, you can often seek some type of compensation. In the long run, to pay a little more and benefit from the services of a professional may be to your advantage.
Another factor to reckon with is the cost of your time. Being 'married' to DIY work can cause tension with family and friends.
It is possible, nevertheless, to maintain good family relationships and still work on do-it-yourself projects. How? By enlisting the help of your family. They can join you, either in planning or in actually doing the work, perhaps even taking care of some of your other duties while you concentrate on the work to be done.
You may work things out well, planning the project and enlisting the cooperation of your family, but do you have the right tools?
The Right Tools
Basic tools to consider buying-
* 12 foot tape measure
* Claw hammer
* Insulated pliers
* Set of screwdrivers
* Junior hacksaw
* Box cutter with retractable blade
* Spirit level
* Small adjustable spanner
On occasion, you may find renting some of the larger power tools a viable option if their purchase price is too great but the need vital. You can manage many a DIY project with very basic tools. However, for these to be of lasting value, care for them well.
Where will you keep your tools? When deciding on a storage area, make sure the tools are protected and treated properly so they remain in good condition. Throwing tools together in a drawer can damage them. Arrange a designated place for each tool. Fasten a board on the wall of your workshop or tool cupboard. Then clasp and hang the tools there.
Some hand tools that are used under tension, such as fretsaws, may require release before storage. Most tools will require cleaning and oiling to maintain their value. Make tool maintenance a part of whatever do-it-yourself project you undertake.
You have figured out the cost and opted to do it yourself. You have all the tools ready and in good condition. 'But there is something missing,' you say. 'I am not experienced.' Does this mean that DIY work is ruled out?
Success Without Experience?
Success on a first-time job does not come automatically. A helpful guide, though, is always follow the instructions. But whose instructions?
Before you start any DIY, consult the experts. You can draw on the accumulated wisdom of the experts by reading their suggestions in many DIY manuals. Or, if you know someone who has already successfully done a similar job, ask him how he managed it and what tips he can offer.
Safety, Safety, Safety!
Remember the need for safety. Use the tools only in the way they are intended to be used. If your children help you, teach them respect and proper care for tools, especially for those that are sharp and dangerous.
The variety of projects that you can undertake for yourself is great. But to avoid being unbalanced in such jobs, take into account other people's advice. Then adapt the suggestions to your own circumstances. Whatever the proposed project, study it carefully before you decide to do it yourself.
If doing anything with electricity, remember that safety has to come first. Don't take shortcuts, it might mean your life! If working with gas, unless you are properly qualified, and are registered as such with the appropriate authorities, then you must get in a qualified person, and not attempt to tackle the work yourself.