Planning a successful D-I-Y Project
More of us than ever are spending our lockdown time tackling those Do-it-Yourself projects that we’ve been thinking about for long enough.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned Do-it-Yourselfer, it can be hugely satisfying to enjoy the results of your handiwork. Often it can be a great way to save some money as well.
Always keen to help our members to make the most of their money, we’ve put together some top tips to help you to make a success of your project:
Think about what you are hoping to achieve. What is your project for? Do you want to add colour or warmth to your drab living room? Maybe you’re aiming to make life easier by rearranging your kitchen? Making extra wardrobe space for your clothes? Or modernising your bathroom fittings? Whatever you have in mind, Pinterest or Instagram are good places to look for ideas and inspiration.
Do your research
Before tackling any project, you should take time to gather as much information as possible about it. Read, research and watch tutorials to be better prepared. Look around and see if anyone you know has done anything similar. If they are enjoying their finished work, they may be happy to share some tips about their experience.
Set an overall budget for your project
Think how much you can afford. It’s important not to overstretch yourself, as your enjoyment will be short lived if you end up with huge unexpected bills. Or if you have to leave it unfinished because you run out of money. Shop around – look on the internet to get an idea how much things cost and compare different suppliers. Try to cost the whole project out, so that there will be no surprises, before you start buying. Perhaps a Credit Union Loan could help you by spreading the cost over a reasonable period?
Divide your project into stages
Dividing your DIY work into stages may help you to decide what needs to be done first and how much time you have to do it. If you are working on a tight budget, it could also help you decide on your priorities. Working in stages with clear time allocations gives you focus and discipline, aiding you to complete your project in ideal time. You may need someone to help you with certain tasks, so plan ahead to make sure they’ll be available at the vital time.
Buy some decent tools
You’ll most likely need to buy some tools or equipment. Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest you can find, as they may not perform to your expectations. If you are new to DIY, then simple, easy to use tools could be best. And it might not be such a good idea to use Grandad’s 100 year old tool kit! The tools may look strong and sturdy but are probably worn and not as sharp or effective as a new set.
Learn how to use your tools and equipment
Be sure to follow the instruction guides, as they contain sound advice on safety and good practice. For many items, there are handy online tutorials that show you what to do. Some of the well-known DIY stores have help available both for novices and more experienced hands, both online and in-store.
Make a survey of the job
Before you start knocking walls down, survey the DIY site and make a list of everything that will need doing. Do you need to move a light switch or socket? Are there any pipes or cables in a wall that you’re going to alter? Where will you put the furniture and belongings while the room is out of use? Where will you do your sawing, pasting and so on? Write down your plan of action – step by step – so that you don’t forget any important tasks.
Buy everything you need before you start
Try to buy everything you need at once, otherwise you may have problems if supplies run out. You might not be able to match up the exact shade of wallpaper or the tiles you selected so carefully may be out of stock, and you may have to pay extra for a small quantity. It’s not a bad idea to buy a little more than you think you will need, to cover breakages or faulty estimating. It can be very stressful to run out of materials near the end of the job and have to rush to the shops for a top up.
Don’t rush it
Finally, although you’ve made a plan and have a good idea of your intended timescale, take care and don’t rush your project. Hopefully, you’ll have done everything necessary to enjoy working on your project and soon you’ll be able to sit back and savour the fruits of your labour for a long time!