Expert DIY’ers probably don’t need to read on. You have probably made many mistakes over the years, but over time, you have probably chiseled out your weaknesses and honed your skills.
If you’re an amateur DIY’er on the other hand… well, you should probably keep reading. Mistakes can be both costly and dangerous, and if you don’t know one end of a screwdriver from the other, then it’s important that you identify areas where you could go wrong, whether you’re building a deck in your backyard or simply trying to put up some new shelves.
Here are the home DIY mistakes that you don’t want to make.
#1: Underestimating the task before you
Think about this in two ways.
Firstly, consider the practical implications. Don’t start a project if you don’t know what you’re doing. Sure, some tasks appear easy on the surface, but you will only get into difficulty down the line if you realize that you probably weren’t the best person for the job. As an amateur, start with small jobs that don’t require a lot of effort before you take on bigger tasks. You might take on these beginner woodworking projects, for example, before moving onto something too complicated. With experience, you will be able to hone your skills. Seek advice from people better than you too, and if there are any DIY courses happening near you, enroll yourself onto them so you can better develop your talents.
Secondly, consider the financial implications. If you begin a project that later proves more expensive than you expected, not only will you have a bit of an eyesore on your hands if you have to leave it unfinished, but you might also create problems for your home. It’s always worth asking a professional for advice, as even if you don’t hire them for the job, they might still help you to think realistically about the project you want to embark on. This is better than having to go over budget down the line, be that through carrying on with the project yourself, or by hiring a professional to finish a job that you aren’t equipped to take on yourself.
#2: Not knowing what tools to use
Of course, you know what a hammer is. And you probably (despite our suggestion earlier) do know one end of a screwdriver from another. However, not only will there be the need for specific tools for the project you are looking to embark on, but there might also be tools that will ultimately live easier for yourself. When joining wood, for example, you can simplify the process (and make fewer mistakes) by using the best dowel jig when drilling holes. If you don’t know what tools to use, then you are going to struggle with your project.
So, our advice is this. When you’re thinking about your chosen DIY project, find out what tools are needed for the job. Do your research online or ask people you know for advice. And look for those tools that will make life easier for yourself, so you can both complete your tasks in half the time, and reduce any opportunities for mistakes.
As the saying goes, a workman (or woman) is only as good as his (or her) tools!
#3: Not taking safety seriously
You wouldn’t climb a rock face without the relevant harnesses to protect you from a fall, and the same applies to DIY. If you don’t take the necessary precautions before you start your job, you might put yourself in danger, even if you consider a woodwork project less risky than a mountain climb.
To be safe, you need to wear the correct equipment. From protective gloves to safety goggles, you need to look after your face and body when you’re working with dangerous tools and toxic chemicals. You need to ventilate the areas you are working in too, especially when working with paints and varnishes, and during jobs that are going to accumulate a lot of dust. You should also barricade your work area from the younger members of your family, as they might be tempted to watch you at work, or if not properly concealed, they might want to have a go with the items from your toolkit. And you also need a first aid kit at hand, because as careful as you think you are, accidents do happen!
So, for your safety and the safety of those around you, take protective measures. Follow our suggestions and find out more by reading this DIY safety guide. Your life might depend upon it!
#4: Trying to make too many financial savings
DIY projects can be expensive, so you might be tempted to save money where you can. You might buy discounted tools, for example, or you might buy lower-grade materials. And while we understand this, you need to know that you might still have to pay more down the line. What if your cheap tools break? What if the materials you have used prove less than durable? What if you make a bad job of your project because of the quality of the items you have used? You will then need to spend money on buying new tools and materials, and you might need to hire a professional to put right whatever you have done badly. Those costs will add up, so despite the initial expense, spend money on quality goods, as not only will you be able to use them for your initial project, you will also have what you need for many more projects to come.
#5: Rushing through a job
Time is sometimes at a premium; we get it. With a full-time job to go to, and/or with a family to raise, you might want to speed through your DIY tasks in double-quick time. This is all very well, but if you take shortcuts, and if you don’t check on the work you are doing, then mistakes will be made. A shelving unit you put up might buckle under your books and collectibles, for example, if you haven’t screwed everything incorrectly. You will only have to repeat a job if disaster strikes because of your rushed work, and you might make further problems for yourself. Therefore, don’t begin a job until you know you have time to complete it satisfactorily, or get help from an experienced other if you need something completed to a deadline.
So, are you about to embark on your first DIY project? Do you lack the relevant experience? If so, follow our suggestions to eliminate the risk of any costly and dangerous mistakes. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all!