8 Tips For DIY Projects and Home Repairs
Professional labor is a costly affair in any homeowner’s maintenance and repair budget. But, you might spend less than a few hundred dollars and potentially add thousands to the value of your property by performing some tasks yourself.
Moreover, undertaking simple projects like patching walls, caulking the bathtub, installing a new faucet, and swapping out the light fixtures might help you earn a few new skills.
Check these eight essential tips to master your DIY projects and home repairs.
Invest in the Right Tools
Investing in a few essential pieces of equipment is a must before starting DIY home repair projects. Getting a hammer with reasonable weight and a non-slip, comfortable grip is a smart place to start. Additionally, every DIYer’s toolbox must have engineered fasteners, as they are essential for connecting materials. Invest also in multi-ratchet screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutters, tape measures, box cutters, and spirit level.
Search for Instructions Online and Master the DIY Terms
Nowadays, you can find a video tutorial or thorough instructions for almost any DIY project online. By taking the time to go through these instructions in advance, you’ll learn whether any preparation is required and avoid potential complications later.
It’s also useful to learn some common DIY terminology before you commit to a home repair project. These terms will come in handy when looking for products or online instructions.
Know Your Limits
DIY projects are a terrific way to save money, feel accomplished, and include the whole family, but they might easily go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. Understand which projects you can safely perform and which you should leave to the professionals. While you could surely add a fresh coat of paint on the walls, you’d want to avoid working with lead paint, asbestos, or potentially load-bearing walls.
Your safety is of the utmost importance when undertaking a DIY project. So, whatever the house repair may be, be sure you have the required safety precautions. This means wearing boots, protective eyewear, gloves, and a hard hat. If working with saws that produce sawdust or other particles, you should also wear a respiratory mask. Also, be sure to have a first aid kit close by in case any accident happens.
Buy Spare Materials
You won’t be able to determine the precise amount of material the project requires right from the start. So, always order between 10% and 15% more material than the project estimate calls for to give yourself some wiggle space for unforeseen circumstances. Even if you don’t use every product on your DIY project, it’s helpful to have extra supplies on hand in case you have to, for example, replace a broken tile.
Know Which Projects Would Require a Permit
Only licensed contractors can receive permits for specific projects like installing fences, a new roof, or adding electrical outlets. So before you start with a project, do your due diligence. If a building inspector finds that construction on your home was not properly approved and you’ve violated the building codes, you may have to pay hefty fines or possibly even go to jail.
Be Careful When Using Ladders
For some home DIY improvement projects, utilizing a ladder is standard practice, so it’s important to brush up on proper ladder usage. You should always keep your ladder on a solid, level surface. Using the 4-to-1 rule when deciding where to put your ladder, can also help you stay safe.
This means that the bottom of the ladder needs to be four feet from the wall for every foot of height. Avoid using the ladder’s top two rungs or leaning to one side, and always maintain your center of gravity.
Don’t Rush to Get the Job Done
The majority of homeowners attempt to finish their DIY projects on the weekends when they are off from work. The clock begins ticking on Friday night, and, from that point on, it’s a race against time to finish as much as you can before going back to work on Monday.
However, you must defeat the impulse to rush through it. Rushing will result in sloppy mistakes and cutting corners. Instead, take several days off to relieve some of the stress associated with finishing the job on time.
Following our tips, you can prepare better for your next DIY project and set yourself up for success. Keep in mind, though, that DIY requires a lot of work. So, if you feel overwhelmed along the way, take a break, go for a stroll, sip some wine, and unwind. Then, once you’ve cooled down, go back to it—if you don’t push yourself, you’ll never learn.