We have just bought our own home and have taken on the mammoth task of putting our own stamp on our lovely all cream, new build house. It is the first time I have had a house to decorate and do up how I want and it is not something I have ever had to think about before. It is difficult sometimes to know when to DIY and when it is better to leave it to the professionals.
Doing it yourself is cheaper, sometimes quicker (we all know the waiting time for some tradesmen) and can teach you some excellent skills that will benefit you in each home you live in. Rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in can keep you within the all-important renovation budget, so you can keep things under control.
However, attempting something that is way above your skill level and that could potentially damage your property or leave it looking like a half-arsed job is not worth the risk. Dust off the wallet and get spending some cash!
So, how do you know when to give DIY a go and when to leave well alone? Here’s a selection of tips to guide you on your renovation journey…
Renting, selling or living in?
This question will determine how much you are emotionally invested in your property. If you are renovating for rental then it becomes a case of getting the space up to a decent spec that is easy to maintain. There is little emotional involvement and you can make practical decisions about layout, interior and budget.
If you’re selling, then you need to appeal to your target market. Who will your likely buyer be? Do you need to impress them with high spec kitchens and bathrooms and do you need to decorate in a showroom-style to capture their attention?
If you are planning to live in your property, then you’ll need to be on board with every detail as you’ll be the one looking at it for the rest of the time you live there! Emotional involvement is high and your taste could push the project over its budget to accommodate for the nicer things.
Therefore, the scale of potential DIY experience to be gained will probably go in ascending order of renting, selling and living in.
Potential DIY projects
The great outdoors
The garden is an area that you can test your DIY skills to the max. Even in the smallest of spaces you can make a beautiful outdoor haven! Test your painting skills with the garden fence, get create with some old pallets for planters or outdoor seating and use a few rustic-looking mirrors to really open up the space.
One tile at a time
If you have the luxury of time, you can tackle even the most intricate of tiling in your bathroom or kitchen. Time is the key to flawless tiling along with a little know-how. Whether you’re looking for plain white tiles to give a clean and fresh look, or for something more detailed like a mosaic pattern there’s several really good DIY tutorials to take you from novice to expert. This tutorial from B&Q shows you the ropes in three short videos.
A beautiful surround
If you’re lucky enough to have an original fireplace in your home, then you can look into restoration and making the best of a feature that is attractive to renters and buyers, as well as an excellent addition to your home. Some surrounds just need some TLC and a bit of elbow grease, as demonstrated by this article from Period Living.
Others might be a bit garish or just need a touch of your interior good taste! A favourite by many is to use reclaimed wood or driftwood as the top of your surround to give a rustic look to your living room. This is simple enough to do and is an ideal situation to flex those DIY muscles!
The stroke of a brush
Grabbing a brush and going to town on a wall sounds pretty simple but it’s amazing how many people get it so wrong. Uneven brushstrokes, a dodgy colour choice and sloppy edges are all major risks. Watch a YouTube video before you get going, such as this one from The Home Depot.
Leave it to the professionals
While there is several projects in your home that can be tackled yourself, it is best to know when to get the professionals in. Unless you have completed a plumbing or electrician course, I would stay well clear of these areas, especially as they can be the most expensive areas of renovation! By all means, try to pick up some useful tips while the professionals are working hard so you can do a little bit more on your next project. The peace of mind knowing that someone with experience has taken charge of this will be worth the hit to your budget.
If you decide to go with bi-fold doors to open up your kitchen and garden, or your living room and study, this is another area that should be left to those in the know. Badly fitted doors will be more than a nuisance when you’re trying to show off your space!
And, although IKEA has made it look easy, a new kitchen shouldn’t really be a chance for you to test out your DIY skills. Soft-closing drawers and properly plumbed dishwashers are a must-have…
Last, but certainly not least, is plastering. Unless you are extremely confident in your plastering skills I would seriously consider getting a qualified plasterer in. A botch job on this will have you sighing every time you look at your uneven walls.
Please note, this is a sponsored post. All sponsored posts are carefully selected to appear on my blog if I feel they are of interest to myself and my followers. I hope you find it interesting and useful!