10 Common DIY Mistakes

Time Is Not on Your Side

The job will take longer than you think. You’ve calculated in extra time already? It’ll still probably take longer. Prepare for the worst; hope for the best. Ask yourself, in an ideal world how long will this take? Then double, or even triple, that amount of time. If you get it down in your original time, then it’ll seem like a bonus. If you don’t, you won’t be surprised.

Keep Your Balance

Have a spirit level handy. You’ll probably need it. Otherwise you’ll end up with the proverbial, out-of-kilter DIY project.

A Paint In the Ass

Choose the right paint for the job. Painting dressed timber? Use this kind of paint. Are you painting a room? Use eggshell or satin paints for the walls and flat paint for the ceilings.

Do You Have the Skills to not Pay the Handyman’s Bills?

We’ve all been there. You get super excited about a new DIY project and you wade in without asking whether you have the right skill-set and experience for such a task. As with anything else, walk before you can run. If you’ve never picked up a hammer before, perhaps attempting to fit a kitchen by yourself is not the best idea. In fact, in general we would recommend you not attempt roofing repairs, window replacements, or any plumbing or electrical work.

Permit Me to Go On

You’ve worked out all the plans for that extension. You’ve bought the materials. The builders are coming tomorrow. Have you forgotten anything? Yes, planning permission. For any job bigger than basic upkeep of your property, you might just need a permit. According to the gov.uk website: ‘You will probably need planning permission if you want to:

  • build something new
  • make a major change to your building, eg building an extension
  • change the use of your building’

Equipped for Success

Firstly, do you have the right tools? Does the screwdriver fit the screw? Secondly, do you have the best tools? How much, ahem, screwing will you be doing? Are you sure you don’t want to invest in a electric screwdriver?

Measure Once, Cut Twice

Does that sound like you? Don’t be overeager to make that cut. Measure at least twice and when you cut, err on the side of caution. It’s easier to saw off a bit more wood, but it’s hard to stick it back on!

We Live In A Material World

DIY is expensive. Have you budgeted properly. Remember you want to buy the right materials – the best timber. You want your DIY project to last. The way to make sure you have the right budget is to buy your materials before hand, not as and when you need. This will also save you time!

Be Prepared

Prepare your site before you start whatever you are doing. Are you expecting a delivery of timber boards, for example? Where are they going to go? Are you painting your timber? Don’t just slap it on. Sand and hoover it first and make sure it is clean and ready to take the paint.

Is It Safe?

That’s the question you should constantly be asking yourself – you know, before you climb the twenty foot ladder, or turn on the power-saw! Of all the items on this list, lack of awareness over health and safety is the most important. The rest on this list will result in some shoddy DIY outcomes, but at least you’ll have your health!


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