Before starting any DIY job make sure to read out “20 Golden DIY Tips from the Pro’s”. Hopefully this will make the job and your life a little easier.
1) The estimate
Your feasibility-estimate must be a good one or the project will descent into mayhem. Things to consider carefully are all major and minor costs, a generous estimate of man-labour hours (including number on the team and overtime rates), unexpected costs such as subcontractors and sourcing one-off materials.
2) Second opinions
As you would with a health diagnosis you should always get a second and even a third quote when it comes to the bigger costs of using a subcontractor or sourcing materials.
3) Trim gun
Seems obvious but you rarely need to use a hammer and nail any more. invest in a good nail gun and you’ll be flying through your project in no time.
Always carry a pencil in your back pocket or better yet, behind your ear as you never know when you need to make a quick marking on a wall as a guide. Nothing says amateur more than scrambling around looking for a pencil and only finding a pen.
5) Tinted primer
Many painters opt for a tinted primer instead of the usual white. Usually a grey or a shade close to the final coat. This can eliminate the need for extra coats of paint and ensure a good base.
6) Write measurements down
Jotting down your measurements on a bit of masking tape and sticking it on your hammer, tape or whatever is in front of you as you work. Will save you running back to check your notes every few minutes and ensure a quicker work-flow.
7) Music in a jar
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself too, popping your iPhone into a jar or large bowl will act as a handy ghetto blaster for when you’re working outside and would like a bit of music while you work.
8) One wall at a time
So tempting to just paint all the middle bits first because, let’s be honest, the edges can be a drag. But do as you’re told and complete one wall at a time for best results. Completely finishing one wall lets all the different strokes and paints blend together seamlessly.
9) Paint jars
Save every last drop of your expensive pain by punching holes around the rim of the can. This allows the excess paint in the rim to drain back into the can.
10) Tool belts
All professionals pride themselves with a good tool belt but it can be an expensive for us simple DIYers. An old oven mitt with the fingers cut off makes a cheap alternative.
11) Tool holder
Bring a clamp with you as you make your ascent up a ladder. It will come in handy when you need to put your hammer or tool down for a moment.
12) Paint from top to bottom
Instead of starting right at eye level, start at the top and work your way down. This ensure you cover over any drops of paint as you go.
Be aware of how long that special flooring will take to arrive from the other side of the country or those last-minute, bespoke door knobs you wanted. Having subcontractors waiting around will cost you dearly not to mention any time you have taken off work. Presume that everything will take much longer than you think it will.
Consider your terrain carefully before you go ahead and install decking. Different soil types could impact on the stability of your deck over time and changing weather conditions will determine how frequently you actually use the deck.
15) Essential tools
Every DIYer should have the following in their tool box or they shall hang their head in shame: screwdriver set, claw hammer, a tape measure, pliers, a wrench, a level, an electric drill and nails. A plastic toolbox will help avoid rust if left outside.
16) Know your screws
The tops of your nails and screws are designed to give you a clue to what they are. Phillips and and slotted are the most common, after that there are dozens including Hex and Torx. The aim is to be able to pick one off the floor and immediately know which one it is.
Seems simple but is a common mistake. You have to use plugs, screws and drill bits that are compatible with each other or it can end up being frustrating with screws spinning around on the socket or drill bit not fitting in.
Start in the center of a wall, not at the side. Many DIYers make this mistake and more often than not, the side wall is an unreliable guide as it may not be exactly straight.
19) Planning permission
Check your planning permission before you start with your local authority or you may be taking down your new beautiful conservatory before you’ve stepped foot inside.
20) Document your progress
Don’t forget to snap a before pic so you can show off with how far you’ve come.