It’s one of life’s paradoxes that although people will often, rightly, avoid things that they don’t know how to do, when it comes to doing a spot of DIY they are more than happy to pick up a drill, saw and just start chopping bits of their home to pieces. Frankly we blame Changing Rooms.
Nonetheless, every year in the UK hundreds of thousands of homeowners will embark on some sort of DIY project, be it something as simple as putting up a shelf or building their own extension, with considerably mixed results.
So if this sounds like you, before picking up that hammer and those nails, take some time to swot up on the 5 most common DIY mistakes that you don’t want to make.
‘Spirit Levels are for Wimps’
Have you ever tried to write on non-lined paper? Difficult isn’t it? Human’s are rubbish at judging straight lines without some guidance, and this is exactly why the spirit level is one of the most important DIY tools.
Even the slightest tilt in a shelf will be noticeable – not least because your stuff will slide or roll straight off of it. The key is to measure everything up first, marking out where you need to be drilling, but for god’s sake, check it’s level first!
When it comes to judging how much of a particular material you will need – say, wallpaper for example – it is far better to have too much of it than not enough. After all, what will be more problematic – having a few spare metres of roll at the end of the job or ending up with a few bare feet of wall when you run out half way through?
This follows for all materials, so always buy in a little more than you think you’ll need.
Don’t Just Start Drilling
Speaking of drills, before you go ahead and start butchering the plaster on the wall you need to make sure that you aren’t going to hit a pipe or worse – any electrical wiring.
Take a look at the electrical fixtures on either side of the wall to get an idea of where any wiring might run. A stud finder can give you an idea of how the wall is built , while it has the added benefit of being completely non-intrusive.
Alternatives include inspection cameras that you can feed into small holes in the wall, or taking a look at the wall from beneath or above by going in the basement or attic.
Not Having the Proper Tools
All the DIY expertise in the world won’t get you anywhere without the right tools for the job, and with this in mind you should make sure that you know exactly what you’re going to need ahead of time. Once you do, you can pop over to Trend Direct – one of the UK’s premier suppliers of power tools and other DIY equipment.
Otherwise you may find yourself unable to do something as basic as drilling in a screw because you don’t have the right drill bit.
Not Taking Enough Care
So you know what you need to do and you’ve got all the right tools, so now what? Oh yeah – just don’t kill yourself.
Every year 70 people die with 250,000 people seriously injuring themselves following a simple spot of home DIY, and the key to avoiding becoming such a statistic is to take the utmost care. This means investing in all of the relevant safety equipment – helmets, gloves, eye guards etc – and taking the time to do things safely. A rushed job will not only look poor quality but will potentially endanger your life, so always be sure to give each job the time it demands – and never cut corners.