Owning a home and maintaining it are two inseparable things. You will always have to think about the carpenter, the plumber and every other professional trades-person to fix broken or rundown areas of the house. These days, those services do not come cheap. That said, you have to consider the cost of those professionals against the value added or costs saved from further disrepair. Is it worth paying someone to do it for you, or could you skip a few hours of weekend TV and Do-It-Yourself?
The professionals are usually paid based on the time they will spend in your residence. The clock will be running, and that means money continually oozing out of your pocket. Much of the time you will have little choice but to hire tradespeople. You cannot alter gas fittings or change your own electrical consumer unit. But you could, with the right tools, hang your own door, refit a damaged chair rail, fill a hole in the plaster work, hang a heavily patterned wallpaper and more! Remember, the tradespeople are just like you. They too have fingers, hands, a brain… You may surprise yourself at your own ability when you give it a try.
Get Yourself Some Decent Tools – And Watch YouTube
YouTube is great for tutorials, like a more efficient version of ‘how to’ books. There’s a great episode of ‘Grand Designs’ where a retired man with no building experience reads a book on carpentry and teaches himself to build a staircase for his derelict Chateau! I wonder what he could achieve using a resource such as YouTube. There you can find instruction videos on how to install skirting board or baseboard, repair leaking taps, hang drywall, make stud walls, lay bricks. The list is endless. The great thing about YouTube is you can watch how something is done before you make an informed decision to hire a trades-person, or DIY.
If you DIY, arm yourself with good quality tools. It will be a small cost compared to hiring labour, and you will have the tools as an asset for future work that you, your family or your friends may need help with. Cheap tools frequently break and do not work as well as higher-end DIY or professional grade tools. You don’t need to spend thousands on the latest power tools, but you should avoid the toys for sure! Remember the old saying; ‘Buy cheap, buy twice’.
Below is a list of tasks you could consider tackling yourself. These are just a small example and we have included YouTube links and links to products we would suggest for a keen DIYer. (Disclaimer: We have no association with any products or YouTube videos listed other than TrigJig).
Projects To Consider DIY
Painting / cutting in – watch here
Replacing baseboard / skirting board – watch here
Installing crown or coving – watch here
Fixing leaky taps – watch here
Tiling a floor – watch here
Filling holes in walls – watch here
Building a small brick wall – watch here
Projects To Consider Calling In The Professionals
Anything that involves gas (example, to replace a boiler you must be qualified and registered)
Fitting vinyl or linoleum flooring (one wrong cut and the whole piece is ruined)
Plaster finishing of ceilings and large areas