We’re all familiar with the warning, ‘don’t try this at home,’ but when it comes to DIY, there are loads of tasks that are suitable for amateurs. Of course, there are plenty of jobs that are best left to the professionals, but if you’re keen to get your hands dirty or you love a challenge, here are some DIY dos.
Putting up shelves
If your home is cluttered, there’s a very easy solution out there. Shelves and shelving units are inexpensive, and they’re easy to hang. All you need is a spirit level, some tools, and a helping hand and you should find that this a straightforward task. Make sure you buy brackets, as well as the actual shelves, as stores often sell them separately. It’s worth taking an extra minute to check the exact position with a spirit measure. You don’t want to spend time hanging shelves to take a step backwards and find that they’re wonky. Before you put any shelves up and start drilling into the wall, check for pipes and live wires.
Do you fancy a bit of a change in the bedroom or the living room? Are your white walls looking a little gray or have you decided to embark on an interior makeover? Changing the color of the walls is a simple, affordable way of trying new trends and giving your home a fresh new look. The good news is that this is definitely a job you can do yourself.
Of course, you could take the easy option and pay a decorator, but you’ll save yourself a lot of money if you don your overalls and get your brushes and rollers out. It’s really important to prepare the walls before you start painting to ensure an even finish. Scrub the walls with a damp cloth and use sandpaper to smooth the surface. Apply a coat of primer if you’re painting a dark wall. Once the primer has dried, you can start your first coat.
Use a roller for large areas and a brush for corners, and any intricate details, such as the areas surrounding switches, sockets, and door and window frames. Put dust sheets down to protect the furniture and use masking tape to prevent colors mixing. Always wait for the first coat to dry before you start the second. You may need a number of coats if you’re covering bright or dark shades with lighter tones.
Some plumbing tasks are suitable only for experts, but it is often possible to tackle basic jobs yourself, especially if you make use of articles like a DIY guide to replacing a hose bibb or you watch video tutorials to help you unblock a pipe or fix a leaking tap. Think carefully before you start any repairs and make sure that you’re confident that the task in hand is suitable for an amateur.
If you attempt something that is too complex, you may end up doing more damage, and this could cost you even more. Remember the basics like turning the water off before you begin. If you’re not sure what to do if things start to look like they’re going wrong, call a plumber. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Resealing the bath
If you’ve noticed that the seal around your bath is looking a little worse for wear or it has started to peel away, don’t reach for the phone directory just yet. This can be a bit of a fiddly job, but it’s perfectly straightforward if you know what you’re doing and you have the right equipment.
Before you apply new sealant, remove the old seal using a utility knife. You can then apply the new seal. Keep your hands steady and follow the line of the bath for the best results. If you’ve never done this job before, it’s worth having a couple of practice runs to enable you to get used to the tools. There are also some handy guides and videos online.
If you’re a keen DIY-er, you’re looking to save some money on sprucing up your home, or you’re determined to get around to finishing off those niggling jobs, there are plenty of tasks you can attempt safely at home. Make sure you put your safety first and check that you have the right tools for the job before you begin. It’s really useful to watch some video clips and read step by step guides too. As a general rule, it’s best to leave anything that you’re not sure about to the experts, but there are lots of jobs that are suitable for ambitious amateurs.