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Doing Better DIY…. It’s All About The Preparation

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by Hayley Jones
(San Diego, California, USA)

Whether you’re building a new extension to your house or just putting up a few shelves, it always pays to be prepared when you’re tackling jobsaround the home by yourself. While you’re undoubtedly saving a packet on the cost of hiring a handyman, all these savings could be undone if you’re not careful – hammering a nail through a water pipe or taking the plaster off the wall can be expensive and time-consuming to fix!.

As with any major project, the best thing is to give yourself plenty of time to plan the work before you even pick up a hammer. Depending on the size and scale of the job, it may also be a good idea to contact yourhome insurance provider, whether it’s Can Can Cover or another company, to see if your policy protects you against any mishaps. Your provider will also need to know if you are making significant alterations to your home, such as building a conservatory or converting a loft.

Next, draw up a plan of the project, including all the tools you will need, and make sure you have everything to hand before you begin. Not only will you save time by not going off to look for a part every few minutes, but you’ll also make the job safer by reducing the amount of movement you have to do around the work area. This is also a good time to make a budget: decide where you will get the materials you need for the project and think about whether you could save money by buying in bulk with a friend.

Painting, remodelling and other DIY projects may require moving furniture, laying down sheeting, removing light switches and curtains, and generally decluttering the space, so ensure this has all been done ahead of time – there’s nothing more frustrating than having to keep stopping a job to move something out of the way!.

Finally, perhaps the most important aspect of planning is to get a feel for whether you will be able to do the job yourself or not. If you don’t have a lot of experience with DIY, it may be best to get a friend who does to help you with it – you’ll get the job done faster and might learn some valuable skills at the same time! Always make safety your top consideration and don’t tackle something you’re unsure of – and remember, anything involving gas, electricity or plumbing should always be left to the professionals.

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Updated: October 24, 2013 — 5:05 pm

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