Let’s be honest – not everyone is cut out for good old DIY. In fact, I remember an old newspaper article that revealed over 50% of British homeowners were scared stiff of doing any DIY whatsoever. Also, there’s a big difference between a simple crafting project and a full-blown renovation. There’s so much that could go wrong that it is enough to drive you mad with worry.
So the big question is – how can you keep your sanity when going through intense and stressful home DIY projects? Why not sit down, relax, and find out exactly how you can make your experience as pleasurable as possible.
First of all, mistakes are going to happen. It’s important to realise this, especially when you are just getting started with DIY projects. Ultimately, we all learn a lot more from making mistakes than we do from following guidelines in a textbook or from a web page. But as long as you don’t take on too much – or mess with your home’s foundations – what’s the worst that can happen? If something does go drastically wrong you can always hire a pro to help you get things fixed – yes, the cost of doing so will negate the benefits of doing it yourself, but you will learn a lot from experience.
Set achievable goals
As mentioned above, you need to be careful about working within your skillset. The idea of DIY is to build up your knowledge over time, and only start testing yourself when you can excel in a particular area. So, don’t renovate your entire house on your first project,. Start small, work your way up, and set yourself achievable goals that you can achieve on a modest budget.
Buy quality tools
Ask anyone in the handyman business, and they will all tell you the same thing: it’s your tools that can make the difference when it comes to DIY. As Glue Guns Direct points out, a proper glue gun can save you a lot of headaches when you are using adhesives, and the best electric saw from Homebase is going to make your cutting project so much easier. I can’t stress enough how it’s worth investing in high-quality tools rather than plumping for the cheapest option on the shelves. However, be careful only to buy tools that you will actually make use of. There’s no point spending £500+ on a Screwfix shopping spree if it’s going to end up living in your shed for the next decade.
Source cheap materials
While you should always spend good money on tools, it’s a different matter when it comes to materials – especially when you are just starting out. Get your thinking cap on and head out to charity shops to find cheap furniture which you can use for practice. eBay and Freecycle are other good places to pick up bargains – the latter will only cost you the fuel you need to pick the item up. And never use expensive woods like Pink Ivory or Purple Heart until you are sure you can handle them and have had plenty of practice on cheaper timbers. Nothing is more stressful than spending a small fortune on materials only to ruin them with a misplaced cut – you will regret it.
Want to know the secret to stress-free DIY? It’s all about how you organise everything. Once you start working, you don’t want to be traipsing around the house looking for a Philips screwdriver, or a particular size of nail. Make sure you have everything you need with you before you get started, and you will save a lot of time – and countless frustrations. In fact, investing in a good toolbox and building belt is a great idea. It will keep everything you need close by, and only be a small stretch away.
Set aside the time
Finally, it’s important to work within a timeframe when it comes to DIY – for two separate reasons. First, if you need to rush your job, you can bet your life you will make a bad mistake. But also, you need to be able to know when to call it a day. Some projects will overspill by several hours, and you should always take this into account. So, for example, if you plan to spend Saturday DIYing, make sure you set aside a few hours on Sunday morning so you can finish your project fresh, rather than trying to finish it exhausted.
There are plenty of people out there who cannot stand DIY. But if you count yourself among them, I hope you will be a little more willing to give it a shot now. Good luck with the project – here’s to your sanity!