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5.6.13

Home Improvement: Dare I Give It a Try?



My husband is pretty good when it comes to home DIY.  Sometimes I worry he is out of his depth, for example we decided to rip up our carpet in the lounge and replace with wooden flooring. The wooden flooring was sold in slats that fitted together, which sounds easy, but having to knock each piece together sometimes then forced other pieces to unclip, and then there was the added stress of having to cut slats to size so they would fit the width of the room. Although he managed to lay the floor in a day, and he did a really good job of it, I couldn’t help but think at the time that it would have been easier to get someone else in with it being such a big job.

Two years ago my husband also decided to rip out our breakfast bar and the surrounding cupboards. We had no idea what was awaiting us behind the breakfast bar. Would the plaster still be intact? Would we need to pay someone to come in and fix the mess left behind? It was a risk we took, and I have to admit I went to my mums for the afternoon and evening whilst my husband set to work as I was so nervous of what he would find. Coming home I walked into the house expecting a wall covered in holes and for my husband to be saying “can you get the number for some workmen please?” but thankfully all was ok but it was a big and potentially expensive, risk to take.

I look around the house once in a while, and think about how I can make it better. Paint jobs, new shelves, a new wardrobe – my imagination often tends to run away with me, but when I decide that the job needs to be done, I panic. I don’t know the first thing about DIY, and after doing some research online, I made a startling discovery.

An article I found stated that botched DIY costs UK households, on average, £138 a year! That’s quite a lot of money, especially for a minor job like covering a slight crack in the wall or putting up a simple shelf. This stat made me wonder if for something like a major renovation, I’m best not to leave it to chance and let a professional do the work for me instead.
When performing a little DIY, accidents are usually the last thing on your mind, but there are a few things that might lead you to botch a job, no matter how small or simple it might seem. Three of the most common DIY mistakes are:

  • Underestimating the time, money and effort needed
  • Using the wrong tools and materials
  • Painting mistakes

Hiring someone else to do the job can save you from worrying about this sort of thing happening. 
The Property maintenance contractors at Local Traders had this useful piece of advice:

"These figures show how important it is to know your limits where DIY is concerned and when it's time to call in a professional tradesman. Tasks such as plumbing work, rewiring and boiler or appliance installation in particular should always be done by a qualified tradesperson.
“It's always better to invest in a quality job rather than cut corners trying to reduce the price and end up with it costing you in more ways than you might initially expect", they added.

 I know my husband likes to try things himself when it comes to DIY and even if I think it's best to get someone in, I know it's not worth the arguments trying to convince him otherwise, especially when doing so means I am bruising his ego and making it sound like I don't trust him.
Sometimes it's easier weighing up the risks and keeping in mind that things could go wrong he would have to swallow his pride and make a phone call (and I get to say 'I told you so').

This is a PR collaboration post.