DIY, also known as ‘do-it-yourself,’ is an empowering practice by which people learn to develop skills for home repairs, maintenance, or improvement. This can be as simple as learning how to put up shelves, or as all-encompassing as fitting new doors, installing a new lighting system, or fully renovating and even extending a household.
Of course, we’d like to begin by saying that while do-it-yourself activities are freeing, it’s essential to make sure that if you’re not qualified in a given area, you bring the specialists in. For instance, it’s best not to meddle with the eclectic wiring in your household unless you are professionally qualified to do so. The same goes with plumbing, as one mistake could lead to flooding and damage your household almost beyond repair.
But aside from that, it’s good to learn how to partake in some do-it-yourself activities so that you work towards a coherent goal for the better. In this post, we’ll discuss how that can be, to what extent you should manage your projects, and how a beginner should get started. With that in mind, please consider:
Get Your Toolbox Right
There are a few items that everyone should have in their toolbox. If you’re not sure what you should have in yours, discussing this with a local hardware store sales clerk will help you understand.
Usually, a well-rounded toolbox for a beginner will include screwdrivers, measuring tape, pliers, a utility knife, a hammer, spanners and sockets (or a wrench), a cordless drill, a handsaw, and most importantly of all, safety gear (including protective glasses, an apron, and gloves if necessary). Of course, if using items like the saw, then it’s important to make sure this is used on a secured table, using a vice absolutely holding the saw in place.
Additionally, a pencil set for marking and measuring is key. What goes in your toolbox may differ, but it’s good to be familiar with these tools as standard.
We’ve mentioned safety, and that’s by far the most important insight in this list. It’s good to suffer a lack of shelves in your living room than it is to suffer an injury based on putting them up incorrectly.
It’s important, to begin with, to note that your tools should always be cared for. Wear protective equipment as necessary. Mark where you’ll be putting up the shelves, and saw or assemble the wood via the instructions given. Make sure that you won’t breathe in any fumes or dust that comes from working in a DIY-capacity. Make sure you’re careful with your hammer strikes, and wear protective thick gloves if you feel it appropriate.
The best safety tip of all, however, involves:
Planning Your Project Correctly
Planning your project correctly is an absolutely essential measure, and even veteran DIY homebodies should not forget it. This means gathering all the tools and materials you will use for a particular job, measuring and noting all the dimensions, and making sure you know the entire step-by-step process by which you’re going to develop it.
Let’s say you’re replacing a door hinge. Okay. So first, we need to measure the door dimensions and the placement of the hinges to ensure that we have that information. Then we need to unscrew the door from it’s hinges and safely place it down in an area you won’t trip over it, and place the hinges to one side. Then we mark where the new hinges are to be placed, and drill them in. Then we fit the door carefully while screwing in the door to its hinges.
This is a simple process on paper. But it’s important to get that right, especially measuring first, and especially as a practice for larger projects in scope. Even professionals install fixtures the wrong way around without thinking.
Of course, it’s also important to think about the source materials you’ll use for your DIY. For some, flat-pack furniture purchased from a very famous Swedish brand, while for others, cultivating their own woodworking to craft the materials for a given implement is essential, or sourcing crucial elements like a stainless steel tube will serve as the most foundational item to fit.
To begin with, it’s good to start as a novice. Focus on smaller tasks, such as replacing an old hinge, or putting up shelves. Perhaps you could repaint wooden furniture and reupholster it, reseal the bath by removing and replacing the sealant, fix a blocked drain by using a plunger and some dissolving chemicals, or perhaps starting as an absolute novice – put up some pictures around the house.
This isn’t supposed to sound patronizing, starting small and gaining more confidence can help you begin to fall back on your own willingness to try and resolve a problem rather than thinking that you can’t do a thing. This way, you’ll be more willing to try new tasks and get through them in the best manner possible. This will build you up, and help you develop in the best possible way.
Use Online Guides
Online guides are out there to help you. If you’re not sure how to do something, don’t be afraid to look to YouTube or other websites to figure out some insider tips and insights. After all, there’s no virtue in doing something without knowing how just because online instruction seems a little too easy.
As the experience of home living is so universal, the great thing about this is that online there are many diverse viewpoints to be found regarding all kinds of home upgrades and developments, so you don’t need to feel as though you’re out of your depth or if your particular issue will cause a problem.
Measure, Measure, Measure
The old adage given by carpenters, which can apply to almost any aspect of life, is ‘measure twice, cut once.’ Thankfully, for our intentions, this is a very real instruction and not just a platitude.
The more you can get in this mindset, the more successful your efforts will be. With that, and the rest of the advice in this article, you’re sure to ace your tasks as a first-time DIY-er.