If you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet then there’s a good chance you’ve looked at videos or blog posts about renovating your home by yourself. DIY renovations and house work can sound like a great idea, but you’ll be surprised at how much time, effort, and money it can take–contrary to what all of those blogs and YouTube videos would have you believe!
In fact, people can often feel like they’ve been tricked into buying lots of materials and equipment just to try renovating their homes themselves. What often ends up happening is that they waste a lot of time and their tools go unused for years because it’s just not for them.
So in this post, we’ll be talking about the reality of DIY renovations and why you should be careful. However, we’re going to also give some tips on how you can tackle DIY renovations properly so that you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time and money.
Ask yourself why you want to renovate your home by yourself
Let’s start with a question: why do you want to renovate your home by yourself? People don’t always have a straight answer to this. Some people say because they were inspired to do so by a video or article, and others might say because they want to learn DIY skills. Some more practical reasons might be to save money because you’re not hiring a contractor, or perhaps wanting to make something custom that fits your personal needs.
It’s really important that you’re honest with yourself about why you’re interested in renovating your home. This is because it’ll help you make more important decisions later on. For example, if the whole purpose of doing a DIY renovation is to save money, then you’ll want to make decisions in the future that are centred around cost savings.
If you can’t really answer why you’d want to renovate your home by yourself, then it might honestly be better just to hire a contractor to work with you. Everyone has their reasons for wanting to get involved with a DIY project–it just depends on what you’re aiming for as a final product. But with that said, wanting to renovate your own home just for the satisfaction of doing it is perfectly okay as well!
DIY renovation projects will be a learning experience
Nobody goes into a DIY renovation project and aces everything on the first try. You’re going to make mistakes, you’ll waste materials, and you might even break a few tools. This is perfectly fine and it’s part of the whole learning experience.
So in order to better prepare yourself, you have to be ready to make mistakes. This can be done in a few ways:
- Buy more materials than you need. Whether it’s a loft insulation project or replacing bathroom tiles, try to buy a few more materials than you’ll need. This makes up for any materials you waste or break, and it also gives you some spares if you need to make repairs in the future.
- Start small and work your way up. Don’t tackle large projects first. Try to work on smaller projects to get a bit of experience and to develop your skills. Once you feel more confident, you can start dialling up the complexity.
- Use the right tools for the job. If you don’t have the right tools for the job, don’t attempt a DIY project. Trying to substitute tools will only lead to failure and could even be dangerous.
- Follow expert guidance all the way through. YouTube videos and articles aren’t enough to learn a DIY project in one go. Consult multiple videos, look up places like Reddit, and don’t be afraid to ask DIY-savvy friends and family members.
- Take on projects with people if possible. Don’t go it alone if possible. If you have friends and family members who are willing to help out, then consult them for help and include them in the project. This is especially helpful if there are lots of two-person jobs, such as lifting heavy things or holding items steady while you use various tools.
- Set aside some time for the project. DIY projects can take a surprisingly long time, especially if it’s your first time doing something. Set aside a couple of days or a weekend for a project and use it as a way to gauge how long future projects will take.
If you follow these tips, you should have a much easier time learning how to do DIY projects. Don’t hesitate to take things slow and use your first few projects as a learning experience.
Having the right tools for the job is really important
One of the tricky things about DIY renovations is that you need to have the right tools for the job. Not only do you need tools, but you should try to have good-quality tools as well. Cheap drills and hammers won’t last long, but you also don’t need to buy premium equipment or industrial-level tools. It can take a bit of research to find good-quality DIY tools, but it’s worth the time spent.
Putting together a well-equipped toolbox should be your first priority. Focus on the important tools that are essential for every job. This can include things like a hammer, a set of screwdrivers, a good drill, a tape measure, and even some safety equipment.
Once you have a basic toolbox, you should look at more specific tools that can be useful on certain jobs. For instance, anything that requires working with wood could benefit from some sandpaper to smooth out rough edges. In some cases, a sealant gun can be helpful for closing gaps around windows or sinks, and even a rubber mallet can be helpful for furniture.
When is it not a good idea to do a DIY renovation?
DIY renovations can be quite daunting to tackle, so it’s worth taking a moment to think about your situation and if it’s the right time to do one. Here are some things to think about:
- How complex is the project? Something simple like adding a shelf or repairing some furniture can be done with relative ease. However, if you want to do something complex like replacing your roof, or need to work on things like electricity or plumbing, then it’s best to leave those difficult things to the professionals.
- Does it require structural changes? If the work involves some kind of structural change, such as adding or removing walls, then it’s another thing to leave for the professionals. Trying to alter the structure of your home can be extremely difficult and may lead to long-term damage if done incorrectly.
- Do you have the right tools and equipment? Trying to tackle a DIY project on your own without the right tools and equipment can be dangerous and time-consuming. Purchasing these tools for a one-time renovation is usually not a good use of money, so it might be better to rent them or hire a professional.
- How much time do you have? The last thing you want is to have random DIY tools and materials lying on your floor for weeks. If you can’t set aside some time for the renovation then it’s best to consult a contractor instead. However, if you’re fine with the idea of leaving these things around, then more power to you.
- Are you worried about costly mistakes? In many cases, DIY renovations can cause a lot of damage to your home if done incorrectly. In fact, you may find yourself paying a contractor for repairs or renovations if you make too many mistakes and cause damage to the property. If this worries you, it might not be a good idea to perform a DIY renovation.
- Do you have a limited budget? Lastly, try to avoid renovations if you have a limited budget. You may need to spend extra money to finish off a renovation project because you didn’t budget correctly for it. If this concerns you, then it’s worth waiting a while to increase your budget.
If you can comfortably deal with these concerns, then you’ll have a much easier time managing a home renovation in the future.
Some final words
DIY renovations aren’t the worst idea in the world, but many people go into them without preparing themselves. After watching a video or reading a blog post about renovations, you might be motivated to do it yourself. But that content can set high expectations, and you’ll ultimately be disappointed in the results if you don’t do ample research. They can also be costly if you don’t already have some of the tools and materials needed.
So before you set out to plan a DIY home renovation project, make sure you have plenty of time and a sizable budget to work with. Remember that it takes a lot of effort and practice, and it’ll be a learning experience the whole way through.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.