Part of the appeal of DIY lies in its simplicity. However, DIY is a lot more complex than you might think and a lot of things can go wrong; going over budget, irreparable damage to your home and even injuries – all await the unwitting DIY’er.
Here are a few things every first time DIY’er should keep in mind before, during and after a DIY project in order to avoid disaster!
One of the biggest pitfalls of the first time DIY’er is being too ambitious and expecting too much from a DIY project.
Having unrealistic expectations of yourself can lead to projects being left unfinished for years as it dawns on you halfway through that you lack the skills to actually get the project done.
It can also lead to you trying to complete tasks way beyond your skill level, which will almost always end in some kind of disaster that requires expensive professional assistance to fix!
Choose the right tools
Choosing the right tools for a project requires a few stages of thinking. The first stage, quite obviously, is identifying what tools you are going to need to complete the job.
The second stage is finding a way to source those tools. There are two parts to successfully sourcing tools; identifying the precise tool you want and finding the best price for it. To complete the first part, research tools online and compare various specifications, online reviews and anything else that might give you an idea of the tool’s quality.
Once you’ve identified your tool, shop around everywhere you can to find the best price. This includes online stores, DIY stores and even offline product catalogs. You never know when you might stumble across a great offer or deal!
Don’t be too proud to call in professional help
While it’s entirely possible to complete a project on your own, never be too proud to call in professional help for certain parts of the project, especially if it involves piping or electrical wiring.
Think of calling in help as an investment; while it may cost a bit more in the short term, the time you save by not having to rectify mistakes saves you a lot of money in the long run!
Planning for a DIY project is actually quite easy, although the complexity of a plan will vary according to the scale of your project. To start a plan, first consider the end goal of your project and all the steps it’s going to take to get there. These steps will act as individual tasks.
Set yourself a time-frame in which to complete these particular tasks. Be reasonable, but don’t be too generous – the last thing you want to do is leave a project running and running because you were too cautious with your planning. Adding the estimated time for each of these projects together will give you a rough time of completion for the project.
Budget even more meticulously
DIY appeals to many people because it is supposedly cheaper than bringing in professional labor. However, failure to set yourself a budget and assign that budget accordingly can lead to the cost of a project spiraling out of control.
Your budget should be based on the cost of tools and materials required to finish the job. In theory, this makes DIY much cheaper than paying a professional, as labor costs are out of the equation. Compile a list of what you need and prices – this is your basic budget.
You should also factor funds should something go wrong. These extra funds should account for the cost of bringing in extra help, replacing tools and replacing materials damaged due to poor workmanship.
By Christopher Smith is a writer currently working with Excel Compressors, a company supplying air compressors for DIY purposes. In his free time, Chris enjoys playing guitar, writing and attempting to finish one of his many ‘in progress’ DIY projects!