Let’s face it, we have all been there. We thought we could handle the DIY project that laid in front of us but somewhere between the youtube tutorial, things went wrong! You sat scratching your head with a DIY catastrophe on your hands. Well, you’re not the first to do it or the last.
I have been renovating our house for years. It seems once I get one room perfect, our family evolves or work changes and all the sudden we are renovating again to adhere to what our family requires next. With that being said, it means we have had some amazing DIY successes and some major DIY catastrophes.
How to avoid a DIY catastrophe!
You think, that’s simple, don’t do one. But maybe you don’t want to have someone else decorate your house completely without a little elbow grease of your own. What I always do first when I have a home project in front of me, is make a list.
I start by writing down every aspect of the DIY project at hand. One column is for major work that needs to be done that I may not be able to do myself. Second column is for work that I want to do myself that you could hire a decorator but I get more enjoyment at the finished project when I do it myself, type of renovating work.
So do my walls need skimmed? Or just painted? Do I need a plumber? Or maybe an electrician would be safer? There are a lot of jobs that you might think you should just do yourself but could be dangerous. For the bigger jobs don’t jump on youtube and think you can teach yourself about the ins and outs of electricity in one night. Electricians train for more than a day and you could really hurt yourself. Don’t believe me, just ask my Uncle who thought he could do some electrical work after watching a youtube video that made it look simple but forgot a few important steps out. It was a DIY catastrophe waiting to happen.
Second thing I do is write down the cost if I was to hire someone for each aspects of the job. For example, what is the cost of plastering and skimming walls? What would the plumber cost if I need one? How much would a decorator charge for wallpaper or building furniture?
Finally, I work out my budget and see where I can skim the cost down. Be honest with yourself. What can you actually do yourself – safely? What can you do yourself that you won’t need to pay someone to fix the catastrophe you caused and then do the original work? Sometimes our ego can cost us more in the long run.
Things like building furniture, sometimes you can rope a friend or a husband in to help out. If your’e like me, I can build furniture that isn’t too big or heavy for me. I know my limit are things like a bunk bed or chest of drawers.
If you want to start to teach yourself more DIY home renovating skills than go small at first. Get advice. Do your research. If you want to take off the wallpaper yourself to pinch a penny than don’t get out your scraper and start tearing away. Trust me you will then need that plaster above to skim your walls after the damage you cause.
Don’t skip steps in your project to cut cost. You might need your walls skimmed by a plaster and think you can just layer your new wallpaper over the rough, holes, and uneven surface. Don’t do it. You will have a DIY catastrophe before the paper glue dries! And what a waste of beautiful wallpaper you no doubt took six weeks to pick out because it will need taken off and the skimmed and re-wallpapered correctly.
Sometimes we think DIY projects are a good idea. They absolutely are. Just know your limits, know your own skills and know where to look for good workmen when you need to hire someone to do part of your renovations.