The question ‘Why DIY?’ has two very simple answers: time and money. When you do something yourself, you might take more time over the job than a professional, but you won’t come a cropper of builder shortages, busy timetables and long waits. As for money, well of course it’s always going to be cheaper if the only labourer you’re paying is yourself and your method of payment is tea and biscuits to keep you going and a large glass of wine when the job is done. However, that’s not to say that you should tackle any and every DIY job. While we’re all for giving things a go, there are simply jobs–like sanding floors and anything involving plumbing or electrics–that are better left to those who really know what they’re doing and will make far less of a mess in the process. Below are the jobs the House & Garden team think you can do–and indeed have done themselves.
Redoing your bathroom tiles or kitchen tiles may seem like a tricky job, but it’s not as hard as it looks. After a few YouTube tutorials, a lot of patience and a steady hand, our Decoration Editor took to it like a duck to water. Her advice, however, is that while “adhesive, grout and spacers are all pretty easy to learn how to work with–and it’s fairly straightforward to cut tiles if you can borrow one of the little electric tile-cutters–it depends on the complexity of the job.” If it’s a straight run of wall with a square tile that you’re looking to change: go for it! Our contributor Fiona McKenzie Johnston has done pretty much every DIY job under the sun and agrees that tiling is as easy as it looks, so long as you’re working on a flat surface. Fiona was creative when it came to her bathroom tiling, opting for fruit salad-inspired yellow and pink stripes. One word to the wise: removing tiles is not so hard, but if they’re around a bath or sink that you plan to keep, take protective measures to avoid falling bits of tile chipping the ceramics.
It’s perhaps the most obvious job that you can DIY, but still many people outsource it. Having had experience of both, we would advise painting yourself because it’s much easier to live with a heavy brush mark or slightly patchy patch when it’s your work than when you’ve paid someone else to do it. The professionals may not need masking tape to cut in the edges of walls and ceilings, but as long as you take the time to do the necessary prep work, the rest is a breeze. Of course, if you’re painting the ceiling and the walls the same colour, then it’s a particularly breezy job. Invest in as good quality paintbrushes, paint and rollers as you can afford and it’ll make the job easier.
Call it free therapy, just don’t knock down any load bearing walls. In all seriousness, ripping things out is a particularly easy–though particularly messy and unpleasant–job to take on yourself. There are some walls and so on you could knock down yourself, but by demolition, we really mean ripping up old carpets, stripping out wallpaper, taking down bad joinery, scraping off paint and rough sanding surfaces ready for the next stage. For painted wood, there are such magic products as ‘Peelaway’, which work wonders on painted doors for example. Simply paint it on thickly, leave it for the required amount of time and then start peeling it and many layers of questionable paint choices off to reveal the original wood.
It is perhaps surprising to learn that adding character in the form of trim and detailing is quite simple to do yourself. Things such as adding a dado rail, coving or creating faux-panelling in a room are simple jobs that require patience, a ladder and the right tools. Panelling is particularly simple, so long as you are comfortable using a spirit level, tape measure, hammer and nails. Beadboard is the simplest by far as it involves hammering planks alongside each other, while you can also create board and batten panelling by creating squares with skinny planks of wood and then painting over it all. You’d be astonished at the end result. As for mouldings, as long as you’ve a head for heights, simply climb the stepladder, use a tape measure and spirit level to mark perfectly straight guides as to where it goes, prime the surface, apply the special coving adhesive and away you go. (While it is that simple, please do watch a proper tutorial before embarking on this DIY project).
Anything that requires a power drill is DIY territory in our book. It may take a bit of practice to become comfortable using a drill, but in no time you’ll be able to drill holes, add wall plugs and hang shelves, candle sconces, pictures and more with ease. Again, the spirit level and tape measure are your best friends here, and it’s also a good idea to have someone else on hand holding the nozzle of a turned-on hoover under where you’re drilling to minimise the mess afterwards. Plus, if you mess something up and make a big hole, just hang something over it until you can be bothered to polyfilla it, sand and repaint. No one will ever know.
This suggestion is perhaps a little more niche than the norm, but it comes from Fiona McKenzie Johnston, the ever-experienced doyenne of DIY. Writing in her guide on how to make a high street kitchen look more expensive, she said “If you accidentally spent your stone budget on soft furnishings, you could – with the help of a Youtube video or two – attempt your own cast-in-place concrete countertops. Writing from experience and disregarding the labour (my husband’s), the cost is approximately £6 a square metre. And concrete doesn’t have to be grey; use Snowcrete (made of white Portland stone) and add dye as required.”
As for those jobs we would leave well alone, always use a registered plumber or electrician wherever your job requires, as these are skilled jobs that you cannot simply guess at and doing so could have major consequences. Wallpaper too is a highly skilled job and unless you have entirely flat, even walls and a wallpaper that is totally plain or requires no pattern matching, you’re in for a potential world of pain doing it yourself. Plastering is another one to leave to the professionals, as it forms the basis for decorating the room and you want it to be spot on and totally smooth. “A good plaster job is worth its weight in gold,” according to our Decoration Editor.
source : houseandgarden
Parsaland Trading Company with many activities in the fields of import and export, investment consulting, blockchain consulting, information technology and building construction