I was never a fan of of CDT (Craft, Design and Technlogy) at school and begrudgingly took part in whatever useless nonsense we were briefed to make. I do however, recall feeling proud of the clock I made, which resembled an artists palette in year 9 though! Fast forward to adult life and I’ll happily delegate any DIY that needs doing to someone who knows what they’re doing and if that means paying for their services, then so be it.
So when I found myself roped into helping re-decorate my friends son’s bedroom a few weeks ago, it was territory I wasn’t at my most comfortable in. According to a recent survey carried out by Slater & Gordon*, 29% of 35-44 year olds are currently planning DIY projects in the home – which is at an all time high! I blame Pinterest, which encourages you to believe you’re a DIY extraordinaire, even if you’ve never so much as held a screwdriver!
So thanks to my unexpected DIY project, I now have a lot more common sense when it comes to partaking in DIY, and naturally feel fully equipped (being the professional I am) to share a few tips.
- Always use the right tools for the job; don’t try and make do as it won’t work and you could seriously hurt yourself!
- Don’t ever try and rush through a job, take your time and you’re a lot less likely to have an accident!
- If you’re using any power tools (tools that plug into the mains) always use a power breaker which plugs into the socket first. You can then plug the tool into the breaker. That way, if the worst should ever happen and you cut through the cable, the power will immediately be cut off and you probably won’t electrocute yourself. I learnt this handy trick when attempting to mow our lawn for the first time!
- Never drill or hammer nails near light switches or electricity sockets as you never know quite where the electricity cables will be behind the wall. If you absolutely have to do it, invest in a live wire detector to be sure!
- Oh and while we’re on the subject of drills, always make sure it’s turned off before changing the attachments!
- Always put your ladder on a flat surface, don’t try and wing it, you will end up falling off and scraping your arm or leg (or worse!)
- If you’re washing down walls, don’t leave bowls of water near anything electrical.
- If you have mild mould on the walls, you can use a mould remover to get rid of it, just remember to wear a protective mask and gloves!
- If you’re sanding walls, always wear a protective mask; especially if you’re not sure what your walls are made of!
- Make sure that if you’re sanding or painting rooms that they’re well-ventilated. Try and open a couple of windows if you can.
- Never smoke next to anything freshly painted, you don’t want the fumes to catch fire
- Never leave cables trailing on the floor, you will trip over and you will be holding an open tin of paint or a cup of tea!
- If you can, wear protective gloves when doing DIY, and if not, take off any rings, bracelets or watches so they don’t get caught on anything.
- Never attempt to try and do any electrical or plumbing work yourself; always hire a professional!!
- When you’re finished, pack all the tools and equipment away safely!
I do feel better prepared should I find myself (pigs may fly!) embroiled in another DIY project, but if truth be told, I think I’ll leave it to the professionals!
Have you got any DIY projects on the go at the moment?
*This was a collaborative post with Slater and Gordon