Now, if some of you regularly read my blogs you will know that I am not a very keen gardener (I try, but am not very good), but more of my deepest, darkest secrets are exposed today as we talk DIY…I am utterly useless! It once took me 10 hours to put a flat pack wardrobe together (rather embarrassing but true).
My personal opinion is, some people are born with a natural ability like Kevin McCloud who used pieces of metal he dragged out of the river to make a reclining chair, much similar to how some people are natural born athletes, authors, chefs or even performers. However, DIY is not one of my strong points, which leads me to discuss knowing your limits with Do It Yourself.
Although it took me an unimpressive 10 hours to build this particular wardrobe, I did finish it and I was impressed with myself for seeing it through to the end. I did then have to tackle two more sets of drawers, but with the wardrobe experience under my tool belt, I flew through them and they were made in no time! The bedroom now looks lovely, but I can’t help thinking that DIY is not as stress free and simple as it sounds. This wardrobe really pushed me to my limits, but it isn’t a task that I think requires getting an expert in (other than to prevent you the hassle).
So, when should we get an expert in to help out with horrible home improvements? Well, for me it seems any job that requires a brain and a working set of hands is one for an expert, but in all seriousness, jobs that involve water, gas or electric are jobs that you probably should get an expert in, as safety is paramount in any household.
A recent survey carried out by Wickes discovered that 50 of households had to pay a professional plumber or builder to finish a job or repair the damage of their poor DIY efforts. It seems I am not suffering alone as 2 thirds of men confess their DIY skills are suffering as are their wallets with each botched job costing £250 to fix! That means a staggering £2.1 billion a year is spent sorting the dodgy DIY.
Of the 2 thirds of men who have inadequate DIY skills, half of them are brave enough to call it quits and get in a professional for the bigger jobs such as fitting a bathroom or kitchen. Tiling or putting up wallpaper are other jobs that seem easy, but can prove tricky especially when it comes to aligning the pattern on the wallpaper and preventing bubbles, and ensuring the tiles are an even distance apart and cutting them to shape.
So, the conclusion I have come to following these painful stats is that we should have a go at DIY if we are on a budget, but do not let your budget put your health or others at risk. The cost of hiring a professional will always be less than losing a finger, an arm or in even more extreme circumstances, your life! Accidents happen more often when you are rushed or unprepared.
If you are improving your home yourself heed this advice; research and plan the process, read the manuals to your macho power tools and use an RCD (Residual Current Device) if your home isn’t wired with one already. Wear appropriate or protective clothing it is a necessity as well as keeping children and pets out of the way so there are no unnecessary distractions.
Hopefully, by taking on board some of this advice you can improve your home safely, but if it is too complicated, don’t be afraid/ashamed to hire a professional; after all it is their job and it could prevent costly accidents.