As a nation, we love to keep our homes up to date and looking great and, for many, this means spending our weekends and time off on DIY projects. Unfortunately, figures show that 20% of us suffer DIY disasters which result in the need for a professional to put them right - at a cost of up to £4,800! Often, fixing a DIY mishap will cost more than it would to bring in a professional in the first place so, we’ve put together our guide to jobs that are safe to tackle yourself and, those for which you should ‘get a man in’.
Have a go
In general, it’s best to keep DIY projects to those which require as little cost and technical expertise as possible. There are plenty of projects which you can happily have a go at - even if you’re more Frank Spencer than Handy Andy.
Painting & decorating
With the right preparation - including making sure that you’ve bought enough paint or wallpaper - and making sure that you’ve adequately protected furniture and fittings, painting and decorating is a relatively low risk project. If you’re a complete novice, you can find countless videos and tutorials online to help you make a start and avoid rookie mistakes. Start with just one wall or section to see how you get on and then work from there.
So, you’ve watched some reruns of Grand Designs and have decided that it’s time to give that old cabinet a new lease of life. First, weigh up the risks - if it’s an item which you would otherwise be getting rid of then, feel free to get creative and try your hand at upcycling. If, however, the item is valuable or of sentimental value, you may want to seek advice from a professional first.
From the ground up
For those with some DIY experience, removing and replacing tiles and flooring shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Tiles, carpet and mouldings can usually be removed easily without the risk of too much damage and, even if you make a mistake, putting it right won’t mean the end of the world - and won’t cost the Earth.
Get a man (or woman) in
When it comes to your home, safety should always come first - it’s never worth risking your family’s safety (or your marriage, for that matter), just to try to save a few pounds. Unless you have specific expertise, the following should almost always be left to the professionals:
Tackling electrical projects such as re-wiring is one of the most dangerous endeavours if you don’t know what you’re doing - and, one of the most expensive to fix. Before committing to an electrical professional, shop around for quotes and make sure that you check reviews and credentials.
So, you’re looking to create a glamorous new kitchen by knocking through to the dining room, simple right? Unfortunately, projects like this are rarely as simple as taking a hammer to an adjoining wall and can end up costing thousands. Chances are that you know somebody who has embarked on a similar project - ask them for recommendations. Although you may balk at the initial cost, it will most likely save you money in the long run.
One of the most common causes of DIY injuries is tackling roof jobs. In addition, badly executed roofing can lead to much bigger problems than the one you began with. Check out local newspapers and social media groups for roofing specialists in your area.
It’s almost always a mistake to attempt major structural changes yourself, particularly with older homes which have been subject to wear and tear. Attempting this kind of work, without the help of an architect or contractor can lead to huge expense and, often, relocation expenses whilst mistakes are rectified
Although some home projects may seem essentially straight-forward, without the necessary know-how, many can soon lead to headaches and expense. Before embarking on any DIY project, do your research in order to have all the facts on how long it will take, how much it’ll cost and, what the risks are.