We blame The Block. And House Rules. They put together a swish montage of a room being transformed in a week. It looks easy. We think ‘I could do that’.
We get it. DIY is tempting. The cost savings, the creativity and the satisfaction of doing it yourself. But there are some pitfalls of doing it yourself. We reckon a combined approach of using trades and DIY is the best way to go, to save time and money.
Here are some tips to keep in mind before you begin your DIY project:
Check your insurance coverage
Depending on the extent of your project, your insurance coverage may be voided if you are not qualified to carry out the work yourself. Give your insurance company a call to check before you undertake major work.
Become a labourer
To be on the safe side, always hire qualified trades people for electrical, plumbing and structural building work. But ask them if you can offer yourself as their labourer to save money. You’ll have to be prepared to get dirty, but the savings will be worth it.
Remove, dump and salvage what you can
One sure-fire way to save on your renovation is to DIY the removal and dumping of non-structural walls or joinery. One benefit of doing your own demo/removal is that you can salvage some of the materials for use in an upcycling project later on.
Teach yourself decorating skills online
If you’re determined to DIY some of the decoration work, there are plentiful tutorial videos on YouTube and how-to blogs all over Pinterest.
Your local hardware store is a wealth of knowledge
The staff at your local hardware store have a lot of knowledge to share. Often, they’re retired tradespeople who’ve taken a part-time job to supplement their income in retirement. They can give you advice on what type of paint, brushes and equipment you’ll need to do the job yourself. Ask questions and remember to take a notebook.
Is it really worth your time?
Sometimes it’ll cost you less to pay a professional, than to do a job you’re unskilled in yourself. If a skilled tradesperson can complete a task in a day, but it’ll take you a week, you’re better off paying a tradie. Especially if you take time off from your own paid employment to do the renovation.
By implementing these tips you can be a DIY dreamer and still achieve a professional look. Remember to use a qualified tradesperson for anything involving water, electricity or the structure of your building and have fun with the decoration and finishing. Make the most of online resources and the staff at your local hardware store and you’ll soon have a home you can be proud of, without going over budget.