A lack of know-how is not putting off people from getting the tools out and dabbling in a bit of home improvement. And why should it?
In a recent bit of research, the 18-24 age group is the most likely to reject professional help and opt for some DIY. The study surveyed more than 2,000 people and revealed that 65% of 18–24-year-olds would rather test their own skills than seek professional help.
It’s not only the younger demographic who are daring DIYers, with homeowners and renters of all ages grabbing a paintbrush and investing in a good drill to improve the look and feel of their four walls.
If you’re thinking of following the DIY trend and looking to splash a bit of colour or modernise your property in some way, we’ve got some tips to ensure you don’t end up doing something you regret.
1. Research before you start
Maybe this goes without saying, but prior to any project, make sure you make the most of the wealth of home improvement information that’s out there. You’ve found yourself here, so this piece of advice might be a moot point!
However, don’t let this article be the extent of your homework. By the end of your research, you should have a good idea of the cost of the project, what tools you need and, most importantly, whether you’ve got the requisite skills required.
As we highlighted in a previous article, DIY doesn’t always go to plan. And when it doesn’t, the cost of putting it right can extend into the thousands. But, with a bit of research and foresight, you can avoid any big repair bills.
2. Know when to call in the professionals
That brings us to the next point: know your limitations. While you can’t go too far wrong with a bit of paint, it’s a different ball game when you’re talking about installing a new boiler or rewiring your house.
Sure, there might be a YouTube tutorial for everything these days – but that isn’t to say that you should take the plunge on something that is way out of your comfort zone.
Instead, build your skills and confidence on smaller, more manageable projects, and call in the professionals for those jobs which require some real expertise and qualifications.
Check out our top 5 home investments you shouldn’t DIY.
3. Get the right tools for the job
You know the saying: “A bad workman blames his tools.” In our view, it holds very little merit. Sometimes, it IS the tools’ fault!
As a DIY beginner, it’s crucial you have the right tools for the job in hand. While an experienced tradesperson might be able to make do with a rusty old saw and a drill from the 80s, you can’t.
That might mean you have to pass on an offer of using dad’s tools, in favour of buying new, but your handiwork will be better for it. Plus, they will pay for themselves eventually, saving you a pretty penny in tradesperson fees.
Here are some of the essentials that should be in every DIYer’s toolbox:
· Cordless drill
· Claw hammer
· Screwdriver set
· Stanley knife
· Wood chisel
· Cold chisel & bolster
· Tape measure
4. Put safety first
Another key element in deciding whether you should DIY a project is the potential risk it poses to you, compared to a more experienced, well-equipped tradesperson.
This includes equipment for working at heights, using sharp, powerful or heavy tools and machinery, or owning the appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) to safely carry out a job, to name just a few circumstances.
Some home improvement projects like putting in new windows and setting up a solar system come with obvious risks. Even something as ‘simple’ as putting a TV on the wall can end in disaster if not done properly and with the right kind of assistance (even if it’s just somebody to hand you the right tools, at the right time).
Your personal safety is not an area to skimp when it comes to spending on your home. An accident could put you out of work for a period, or worse.
5. Shop around for a good price
In theory, DIY should be cheaper than calling in the professionals. But, when you’re forking out for everything from your own tools to the materials, the cost of a little project can quickly start to tot up.
Tradespeople have access to materials at trade prices. For those of us without trade accounts, we have to shop around. Just make sure you do it!
The easy option is to go to the DIY shop and just buy everything you need off the shelf. But the best option for your budget is to go out and get some quotes.
Here at QuoteSearch, we can quote on everything from solar panels to boilers. Even for a big home improvement project that requires the hands of a professional, you might be able to keep the costs down by sourcing your own materials.
At QuoteSearch, we’re independent and FCA regulated, so you can proceed with trust. Even if you don’t follow through on a quote, your information will be securely stored, and is never shared without your permission. In other words, you won’t be spammed by suppliers for the rest of your days!