DIY – love it or hate it, we all have to do it at some point. Whether it’s hanging a curtain rail in a new home, putting up bookshelves, or a bigger project like re-decorating an entire room, at some point the time will come, and if you’re a total DIY beginner it can be really difficult to know where to start. So with that in mind, here’s a few little tips and tricks to help novice DIY-ers get that project done!
Plan Your Project
The first time you do a DIY project it can be really tempting to dive right in without really putting too much thought in ahead of starting. And if it’s a really simple job like assembling flat-pack furniture that can be okay, but if you’re undertaking anything larger than that you really do need to plan in advance. Start off by sitting down and really thinking about the detail of your project, and make a comprehensive list of all the tools and materials you’ll need, as well as all information relevant to the project such as dimensions, measurements, chosen paint colours etc. It’s also a great idea to take some pictures of the room or area, as well as any inspiration you’ve seen of the look you want to achieve. This is useful for two reasons; one – you’ll have a clearer picture in your mind of what the end product should look like. And two – if you’re at the hardware store and need advice, you’ll have something more specific to show them. Which brings me nicely onto my next tip – ask questions! Doing it yourself doesn’t mean isolating yourself, or being unable to ask the advice of experts; and if you don’t voice your concerns you could be potentially about to do something dangerous… or just stupid. People who know this stuff are mostly great about sharing their wisdom, so don’t worry about sounding silly and just ask them – they’ll be more than happy to help you. If you’re nervous, the best approach is to say ‘I’m a total novice, here are my concerns, tell me how to approach this job’.
This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many DIY beginners start with a huge project like building a shed, or re-doing the bathroom. Think about it, when learning to drive would you jump straight in behind the wheel and head for the motorway? No of course not! You’d start off small with maneuvers and short trips around your town, and gradually work your way up. DIY is no different, so choose small projects to equip yourself with a set of skills and then move up. Changing a showerhead, for instance, opens you up to the basics of plumbing, but it’s really easy to do. If you want to start out on the basics of electronics, consider changing a plug or re-wiring a lamp. For painting, start off with a feature wall or a really small room. Smaller accomplishments will give you the confidence to tackle more.