Handy DIY Tips for the Budding DIYer
Why don’t you call the guy? Because you don’t need the guy! You can do it yourself. It’s true, DIY isn’t as hard as some would make you believe. I would suggest leaving the electrical work and the water work to the electricians and plumbers, but anything else, give it a go yourself. You’ll find it’s not so difficult.
The Tools of the Trade
Now, by the end of your DIY career, I expect you to have a tool shed that could rival Clint Eastwood’s in Gran Torino, but when starting out, there are just a few tools you definitely need. Here are the first few you should go and buy if you want to be successful in the DIY world:
- Claw Hammer (The one with the claw on one side and the hammer on the other—you know what I’m talking about.)
- Flat Head Screwdriver (Funnily enough, it’s the one with the flat head.)
- Phillips Screwdriver (This one is different from the flathead, as it usually has four groves. You’ll know it when you see it; if not, ask the local store owner. Go on; have a look here—I’m feeling generous.)
- Saw (For sawing, funnily enough.)
- Cordless Drill (This is the best and quickest way to put screws in the wall for putting up shelves or bookcases.)
- Utility Knife (Also known as a Stanley Knife. These bad boys are very sharp but excellent for scoring.)
If you’re still in doubt about any of these tools, ask someone at your local hardware store.
This one annoys me a little. Most people assume once their chairs and couches have a big tear and lost their foam, they needs to be thrown out or burned. No. There are many ways foam can come out of furniture, and none of them is an excuse to throw out a perfectly good chair and spend loads of money on a new one. Did you know you can buy foam? Anything that has foam in it, from a foam lawn chair to a foam cushion, can easily have its insides restored. All you need to do is stitch up the wound or drape a covering over it if the scar is too unsightly.
As a DIYer, you have to think a little about how to fix instead of throwing out. That is why I’ve included the foam example. Look around for cheaper alternatives. Buying a bit of foam is going to be a lot cheaper than buying a new matching living room set, and this rule applies to almost everything.
Do It Yourself… With a Little Help from Your Friends
OK, so this one isn’t strictly DIY, but it’s useful to remember. If a problem arises that you think you could fix yourself but you’re not entirely sure what’s wrong or how to fix it, instead of calling the guy, call a friend or a family member. Ask them if they have encountered a similar problem, and if so, how did they fix it? This way, they can give advice or offer to help.
You’re on Your Own
Well, not really. If you’re still stuck, then look around on this site, PlanItDIY.com, for more tips. It’s very difficult to be prepared for everything when starting out doing DIY; however, with a bit of common sense and a can-do attitude, you will be fixing every little scratch and loose bolt in the whole neighborhood. Your partner will even be selling you out to friends and family members! (Help out older people—they usually provide you with cake.)
Adam Daniels runs a home improvement and interior design business. He feels designing a home and renovating it is like creating a fine work of art. Nothing gives him more satisfaction than seeing a customer’s face light up when he/she is overjoyed with the results.