How to prepare for a disaster-free home makeover
Whether it’s improving the kitchen, fixing up the spare room, or simply cutting the grass, disaster in the home can strike when advice is ignored. Insurers Allianz say that DIY disasters cost Britons a staggering £4.4billion every year, so here are our top tips on how to avoid destroying your home or taking an unwanted trip to hospital.
Take baby steps and know your limits.
Don’t try to tackle all your redecoration projects at once. Jump right in without planning and you’ll end up with a house full of half-finished projects. You need to think about how much each project will cost, whether you have all the right tools and how long it will take to complete. With the baby steps approach why not focus on one room at a time, and choose small projects that are achievable. Maybe start with some shelves in the lounge, then fix that wonky sideboard, and finally move up to re-decoration.
It’s also important to accept that there are some home makeover projects that you just can’t do yourself. Recognise the right time to call in the professionals and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and grief. For example, please don’t try to re-plumb your bathroom yourself if you’re not qualified – just call a plumber. Likewise, it goes without saying that you should never attempt any gas work or serious electrical work on your own.
Keep it clean.
Cover everything in dust sheets so you don’t end up spilling paint all over your deep pile carpet. Any major DIY supplier, such as Wickes, B&Q or Homebase will stock these, or, if you don’t want to pay, some old bed sheets will do the trick nicely. Tidying tools away as you go along will also save you time trying to find them under bits of rubbish, or unexpectedly stepping on them. The area you work in will stay safe and the end of the day will be less stressful knowing you have less cleaning up to do. Another top tip is to re-cycle a plastic bag and put it over your paint tray before putting paint in. That way you can simply take it off and throw it away at the end without having to spend hours and use potentially dangerous chemicals to clean it.
Obey the law.
If you’re planning anything major, make sure you consult local laws, and get in touch with an expert contractor if you’re not sure. Otherwise you could not only make yourself very unpopular with your neighbours but also end up with a hefty fine! To find out whether you will need planning permission for a project, head over to DirectGov.
A&E departments up and down the country are full of people with cut or severed appendages and the papers constantly tell us about DIY enthusiasts who end up with nails embedded in their bodies or hands glued to random objects. According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), more than 200,000 people end up in hospital with DIY-related injuries every year! Make sure you’re not one of them by taking the proper precautions when using tools. RoSPA has some further safety tips on its website.
Make sure you have adequate home insurance cover (just in case). Although you may have followed our advice religiously, there’s still the chance that something may go wrong. Let’s face it, DIY disasters are a whole lot easier to handle if you don’t have to fork out unexpectedly to repair the damage you inflicted on the house.
Finally if you are planning a big re-decoration, why not ensure your belongings are safe by moving them to temporary self storage with Big Yellow. That way you can avoid getting those drips of paint on your heirlooms from just £5 per week.