Home improvement has experienced a huge boom in recent years, which is in no small part down to the recession that hit the globe in 2008. Rather than face the hassle of house hunting, more people are choosing to revamp than relocate.
In a 2011 survey conducted by Wickes, 66% of people said that they gave their home a facelift in the past year, and only 9% of these were doing so to sell their property.
However, the eagerness to improve doesn’t always match our abilities, as 26% of people admit to being unhappy with their level of DIY prowess. Therefore to avoid a kitchen catastrophe or botched bathroom, make sure that you’re clued up the top tips that any do-it-yourselfer needs to know.
Take care with your materials
If you buy cheap materials, you can expect cheap results. Substandard or budget materials are fine for a quick fix, but don’t use them thinking that they will last the long haul, as it’s likely that you’ll end up having to re-do the job again a few months down the line, therefore costing you twice. Ensuring that you have the right tools to hand is also essential – a spirit level could prevent you from endless incorrect screw holes in the wall!
There is also an age-old mantra to apply when deciding how much you need of what; measure twice, cut once. You can’t usually make something longer once you’ve cut it too short, so make sure that you’ve got the measurements exact so you don’t waste materials, time or money.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Hiring a professional to help with a house upgrade can have the same stigma attached as asking for directions; some people don’t want to lose pride by admitting that they can’t quite manage by themselves. However this could have disastrous results if you’re blindly fumbling your way through a relatively major renovation – 1 in 5 people admitted during the Wickes survey to experiencing a DIY disaster.
If in doubt, you can always…
Call in the professionals
Unless you possesses an electrical training course certificate, a carpentry qualification or can plumb to a professional standard, it may be worth hiring help, especially when the project could potentially affect the value of your home.
Almost half of people asked say that a kitchen is a key deciding factor when buying a house, but only 22% of people would hire a trades-person when re-doing their kitchen. Neglecting professional help now could mean an emergency call later on to right your wrongs – 34% of people interviewed by Wickes admitted having to enlist expert help to correct their bungled attempts. This could therefore end up costing double your budget if the job needs to be done twice, so swallowing your pride and picking up the phone to the professionals may be the best route for big projects.
Watch out for your fingers!
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents reported that 200,000 accidents are caused each year by DIY around the home. These faux-pas range from 23,500 accidents arising from the more suspected sources such as scalpels and screwdrivers, but even to 1,500 incidents caused just by hanging wallpaper.
Therefore if you are choosing to forgo professional help, watch out for your fingers to avoid becoming another addition to the home improvement induced injury statistics.
Amy Fry writes for a variety of topics and industries such as health, business and education. However Amy specialises in lifestyle topics ranging from self-improvement and further learning in areas such as electrical training courses to interior design.