Fixing your own maintenance or refurb issues at home can be very rewarding. Not only could you possibly save a heap of cash but you can be proud of achieving the work yourself and complete it exactly the way you want it to be. However, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly as if things go wrong, the project could end up costing you significantly more than if you’d hired a professional! Here are some factors you need to consider:
#1 Is It Worth The Effort?
Saving money is great but projects don’t just cost you financially, they take time and sweat – your sweat! Do you have the time available to dedicate to this project? If you work all week and only have weekends then be prepared to give up many weekends for a large project. Think long and hard about whether it’s worth the sacrifice as the longer a job goes on, the more likely you are to be living in a mess for weeks. Small tasks like painting or landscaping can easily be completed by yourself but if you’re ripping out the kitchen then be prepared for a major impact on your time and comfort.
#2 Do You Have The Skills?
This is where you need to understand your limitations. If you’re highly skilled then perfect but if not then you should leave the big stuff to the professionals. It’s worth thinking about a project in terms of what the consequences might be if it goes wrong. If the consequences are severe or even dangerous then don’t attempt the work yourself. Make sure you understand all the stages of a job and whether you have access to all the right tools.
#3 Is It Safe?
Some jobs can be ruled out immediately and these are the ones that have the potential to do you serious injury or greatly damage your home. Work that involves electrical lines or gas pipes must only be carried out by certified professionals. Never be tempted to attempt maintenance on something this serious unless you’re suitably qualified or you risk explosion, fire and even death!
#4 Other Tough Jobs
Also, beware of taking on any project that could involve asbestos or roof repairs that require to climb a ladder. The last thing you want when doing DIY to save money is to end up with a very expensive medical bill! Another no-no is any structural work that involves knocking down walls. You might get a nasty surprise if it’s a load-bearing wall or it contains electrical wiring or plumbing! If you suspect a project might have an impact on the integrity of your home’s structure then you need to call in a professional.
Some work might have to be carried out by professionals. Check with your local authorities as certain projects might have building codes set out for safety laws. Certain work might even require a permit which means that you won’t have any choice but to hire in a professional. Before starting any major project, research the local regulations or you might find yourself in hot water!
#6 Be Prepared To Fail
Most learning occurs because we failed at something first time. That’s ok though, it’s good as the more we learn, the greater our skills become. Also think about your motivations for embarking on said project. Do you really want to do this? Are you being pressured into doing it yourself to save money or do you genuinely love getting your hands dirty? As a newbie, be prepared to accept that it will take longer than you imagined and consider what the consequences might be of being unable to finish and abandoning half way through.
If you’ve got your heart set on tackling more DIY projects around the house then get stuck in! The best advice is to start small and build up, a bit like layering. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are heaps of books you can buy, step-by-step tutorials online and many dedicated online forums where you can sign up and ask questions. Think about the end product and plan backwards step-by-step in a sequence. Always pause before you do something you can’t reverse and invest in some excellent quality tools. The following should come in handy: electric drill, hammer, various sizes of Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, wire cutters, sandpaper, nails and a spanner. And that’s just for starters!