Updated: Jul 31
Undertaking your own property maintenance can save huge amounts of money, but how do you ensure you get it right and avoid paying someone else to fix your mess?
There is something very rewarding about looking at the work you've undertaken in your home. Whether it's a simple bit of painting, cleaning the windows or fixing your own leaky sink, the satisfaction which comes with being the master of your own little kingdom is wonderful. But for every success story there are many more disaster movies. How can we ensure that our DIY project doesn't end up costing us the earth?
Many individuals new to DIY, particularly those who have recently purchased a property, can often begin on a part of the project which might be the most cosmetically pleasing but isn't a priority.
It might be nice to buy and hook-up a new sound system for the new TV, but could the fact that the windows let in cold air, the floorboards are coming up or that the radiators don't work be more important?
Agree the priorities with those you live with to avoid conflict at home and ensure the list of jobs help to make the home a safer place to live in before picking out the hanging monkey lamps.
What's the Budget?
The danger of being your own project manager is that things can very quickly overrun and go over budget. People do DIY because they enjoy it and/or they want to save money. If you don't become your own project manager there is a danger you can quickly lose track of the costs of the project and spend more on the task than if you just hired a professional.
With that in mind, sit down and consider how much it would cost to hire a professional and then use that to help decide on the DIY budget. For some, the project may only become a part-DIY project to save money before handing it over to a professional.
Keeping a spreadsheet might seem a little boring for some, but it's a very effective way of keeping track of finances and the materials required.
Give Yourself a Deadline
We all have a friend who prides themselves on the various DIY projects they have begun, only to find months and even years later that the project is still ongoing.
It is important therefore to set yourself a deadline. Create a feeling of urgency; is there an event at home you need to prepare for? A baby on the way? Any excuse you can find to hold yourself to a timeframe will ensure you're not left with a bathroom without a working shower or a sink without a working hot tap.
Get Advice Before You Start
The mistake many make before and during a project is that they fail to seek the correct advice.
Reading articles or watching videos online are a great way to help a DIYer get an understanding of what is required to complete a job successfully. However, we all know that every DIY job throws you a curveball. Your pipework looks nothing like the video or the person who lived in the property before was clearly very 'creative' when it came to fixing parts of the home.
So we should never be afraid to seek advice from an expert when needed. Instead of 'winging it' and costing yourself more than you can afford, speaking with someone with experience and expertise is time and money well spent.
Plumber at Hand for instance, allows DIYers to make a thirty minute video call with an expert for just £25. This is a truly affordable way to get instant, expert advice from a heating engineer or plumber to ensure you can complete the project without breaking the bank.
Doing the work yourself is always extremely satisfying when done well, so make sure you're properly prepared before disaster strikes and you wonder why you bothered.
For more information on how to save money with Plumber at Hand, visit www.plumberathand.com