You couldn’t possibly be a DIY Disaster, you’re a potential ‘The Block’ winner, right? Everyone thinks they’re good at DIY……. Thinks.
That’s the key word there: you might think you’re good at DIY, but are you really? Or is it more something you assume you’re good at, because… isn’t everyone good at DIY? Isn’t that the point? It’s easier and definitely cheaper than bringing in professionals – so that ultimately makes it better?
It doesn’t quite work like that. Being good at DIY is a skill, and it’s a skill many of us just don’t have. Even if you manage to finish the projects that you dive into, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done them well.
Remember that IKEA shelf that fell off the wall? Or the wall you painted before the plaster was dry? So if you are in denial about being a DIY disaster think of a project for which you really should have hired a professional. Before you go flipping an entire house and losing a lot of money, it’s worth knowing what you can do. And what you can’t.
So how do you know if you’re a DIY disaster? There are three tell-tale signs…
DIY Disaster 1: Everything takes too long.
You’ve got a wall. That wall needs painting. It’s not a big wall and it’s in good condition, so you don’t need to do too much prep. Thus you assume you can go without professional house painters and get it done yourself. It’ll only take an afternoon!
Six hours later, the wall is not painted. It’s patchy. There’s paint on the floor, on you, on the dog and also on the ceiling – you’re not even sure how it got there.
12 hours later, hurrah, it’s finished! So you’re good at DIY – right? You got the job done, so you’re good.
No. It shouldn’t take that long to paint a wall. This is just an example, of course – but if you generally overrun the time you think it’ll take you to complete a job, then you have a problem.
DIY Disaster 2: Touch-ups take as long as the job itself.
So you decide to move a radiator. In doing so, you create far more mess than anyone could have thought possible. There’s broken plaster on the floor, a small flood (which you totally handled, of course), chipped tiles and the paint is ruined.
But that’s okay, isn’t it? It’s a messy job, so it’s going to need some touching up when you’re done…
The above is true, but it shouldn’t require so much touching up that it takes longer than the initial work did. Save yourself some time and call a plumber; they’ll do it safely and with a minimum of mess.
DIY Disaster 3: You don’t follow safety rules.
“Health and safety” has become a much-maligned term in recent years, but it is there for a reason. If you have ever fixed a roof tile without wearing a hard hat; played with electrical installations you don’t fully understand or done anything to your gas system – you’re a hazard. Professionals are trained in handling the dangerous aspects of your home. If you insist on doing it yourself and get it wrong, then the consequences could be more severe than a messy clean up job!
The bottom line? If you can hang a picture and that’s the extent of your DIY talent then call the professionals. Ask friends for their recommendations or enquire about the professional behind a good job you’ve seen.