Spring is finally here, which means that (hopefully) the weather will be warmer and the days will be longer. With that in mind, now is the perfect time to sort your house out. Less rain allows you to re-cover the roof and milder temperatures mean you can have the windows open while you paint.
Most of us enjoy the odd bit of DIY – slightly skewed shelves and wonky wallpaper make our home unique – as there’s nothing more satisfying than ‘finishing’ a room and knowing you did it yourself.
However, there’s no shame in following advice to avoid home renovation accidents and disasters, so we’ve compiled a list of top DIY tips to help you smarten up your home safely.
1. Be prepared
It’s tempting to get stuck in straight away, but a little planning can go a long way. Sit down with a cup of tea and check you have the right tools, materials and strategy.
2. Be honest
If you’re not entirely convinced that you can ‘do it yourself’ then don’t. It’s not worth causing an accident or ruining your floors just because you didn’t want to get an expert in. If you’re sure that you can finish the job to a standard you’ll be happy with, then go for it.
3. Dress to impress
With DIY there’s always a chance you’re going to get covered in paint, glue or sawdust, so don’t wear your new jumper. If you don’t have any old clothes that you don’t mind getting splattered with allsorts, it’s worth buying an overall to protect your outfit.
4. The right tools for the job
You’ll always get better results with better tools, so it’s definitely worth paying a bit more for your equipment and materials. If you’re not sure how to tell the difference, look at DIY forums (such as www.diynot.com) and read tool reviews online.
5. Clear the house
Young children, pets and DIY are not a good mix so ask someone to babysit or take the dog for the day so you can avoid blue paw prints or handprints on your walls. You’ll also be able to concentrate better if you don’t have any distractions.
6. Watch a video
YouTube has thousands of helpful videos showing you how to do everything home-related from stripping wallpaper and choosing paint, to demolishing a wall and building a conservatory.
7. Chill out
There’s never enough time, so when we actually have a spare weekend to strip wallpaper or paint the kitchen it’s difficult not to try to get it done as quickly as possible. Don’t rush. You’ll only have to redo the whole job or get someone in to fix it, so take your time. It’ll make a difference.
8. Stay safe
DIY can be dangerous, especially if you’re using sharp implements or power tools. It doesn’t matter how silly you look – wear gloves, goggles and a mask. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Also be aware of trailing power cables which can be hazardous.
9. Do it properly
If you enjoy fixing up your house, then why not consider taking a DIY course? Many organisations and colleges, including The DIY School, offer short DIY courses for beginners as well as more specific training on tiling, decorating, plastering and electrics.
10. Get covered
Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a novice learning to paint, accidents do happen, so it’s essential to check that your home is covered against accidents, just in case you do put your foot through the ceiling or drop a paint can on the carpet.
John Lewis Home Insurance
With Home Insurance from John Lewis, you’re entitled to Unlimited Buildings and Contents Insurance* up to £15,000 per item, up to a maximum of £30,000.
Your policy includes Accidental Damage Cover so when you’ve got a free weekend to put up shelves or tile the bathroom, don’t panic about what happens if it all goes wrong. It probably won’t be a disaster, but just in case it is, our policy includes suitable home repairs from approved suppliers.
John Lewis Home Insurance also gives you the option of an emergency 24 hour Home Emergency service of up to £1,500 including labour and parts, so that you can get your home back to normal before the weekend’s over.
*There is no total sum insured, but other limits apply including single article and total valuables limits.
Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility criteria apply. A full copy of the policy wording and the insurance complaints procedure are available on request.
John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered in England No. 00233462. Registered office 171 Victoria Street London SW1E 5NN. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Ageas Insurance Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Ageas Insurance Limited. Registered in England No. 354568. Registered office: Ageas House, Tollgate, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 3YA