When You Do-It-Yourself, Make Sure You Do It Right

Posted by on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 at 2:06pm.

Ever had a problem arise in your home? If you’ve owned a home for longer than 45 seconds, the answer is probably yes. Homes are notorious for their various failings and go-wrongs, so you’re bound to come across an issue eventually. And if you’re like most people, you’ll be tempted to just save the money and take care of the problem yourself.

Unfortunately, when something in your home goes south, it’s easy to compound the problem by trying to take up a project that’s too much for a casual do-it-yourselfer. Take a look at the tips below, and you’ll be a step ahead the next time you set out to fix up your home.  

  • Don’t forget the permits

Unless you’re doing a simple project that can be done in a day or two (painting, wallpapering, that sort of thing), you might need to get some permits. There are even some projects that require proof of a permit or your insurance might not cover them. If you have any doubt, a simple call to your county’s building department can give you all the information you need.

  • Underpreparing

This is by far the biggest mistake homeowners make when starting a do-it-yourself project. It is very easy to underestimate things like the cost of the project, the materials you’ll need, the tools you’ll need, whether you need to work in metric or imperial measurements – the list goes on and on. Make sure to take the time to cross all your t’s and dot all your I’s before it’s too late, and don’t be afraid to err on the side of caution at all times.

  • Safety first

This is easily the most important thing to remember – it doesn’t matter how nice that new front porch looks if you have to sacrifice a hand or a set of toes to get it. Keep yourself (and others) as safe as possible throughout the entire project. Always wear safety goggles, and avoid loose clothing when you’re around something that could catch onto them. If you’re working inside, keep some windows open so you aren’t breathing the fumes from the power tools, paint, and sawdust.

  • Prep before you paint

Many big projects will likely be finished up with a fresh coat of paint to give it a clean feel. But you can’t just go painting anything – to get the best out of it, make sure you clean up the surface as well as possible. This means it should be given a good sandpapering and washing, if possible. And if you’re painting over a darker color, use appropriate coats of primer to make sure the lower color doesn’t bleed through. 

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