The outbreak of COVID, spending more time at home in lockdown or working from home, and the rise in spare time has led to a wealth of handymen and women attacking their homes, renovating, maintaining and improving. What it has also led to is the call out of tradespeople to fix jobs that people really should not be attempting themselves.
We have all been there. The tap you thought you had fixed yet somehow still manages to leak, the garden bed that would only take a weekend to build but has turned into a six month project, or the hole in the wall that promised to be a quick patch job. Not everyone is great at DIY projects and not all projects are DIY, so when it doubt you should always call an expert.
Getting a tradesperson around to look at a project is the best way to understand the exact problem, investigate different solutions and get the job done right. There may even be some parts you can undertake yourself to help save time and money, and you can learn a lot from watching and helping along the way.
If you are going to attempt to DIY, then there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Allow extra time in case there are unexpected issues, have extra materials on hand and and make sure you charge any power tools the night before.
- Remember the golden rule, "measure twice, cut once" and take the time to do the job properly.
- Always check before drilling or cutting or digging. Organisations like "Dial Before You Dig", and tools like a stud and power cable finder, can save you a lot of time and trouble.
- Figure out a budget, then double it as unforeseen expenses regularly occur.
Issues such as unclogging drains, fixing leaking taps and changing washers can get tricky. A plumber can usually have them done quickly and at a low cost. They can also improve your home by installing garden timers and replacing shower heads, making it water water efficient and saving you money.
The risks far outweigh the benefits when dealing with any electrical repairs or installations, so apart from changing light bulbs or blown fuses, it's best left to a qualified professional.
When dealing with walls or ceilings, you can normally handle items such as skirting boards or cornices, however doing the actual plaster work and sheeting can very difficult and time consuming. A plasterer will be able to get the job done quickly and have the surfaces finished off and smooth, ready for you to paint in no time.