Expert tips for DIY amateurs

If you’ve never been quite sure that you’re up to the task of DIY in your home, then perhaps it’s time to think again. You don’t have to be an expert tradesperson to be able to carry out a number of tasks that will not only save you the expense of bringing a professional in but also give a real sense of achievement when the job is done.

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That said, there are some jobs that you probably do need to get someone in to do. These are larger and more complex, such as fitting a new bath or shower or getting some rewiring done. However, there are plenty of DIY jobs that you can undertake with the right research and preparation to make the tasks less daunting.

Remember that what you’ll be doing, provided you do it well, will add value to your property as well as improving the facilities or ambience in the home.

Plan your DIY

It’s worth taking the time to think through what you want to do, and why. Do rooms need a paint makeover? Have you got some problems with the plumbing? Do you want to change how your rooms get light into them? Is your furniture looking a bit tired, but you don’t want the expense of buying new pieces?

All these issues can come under your control when you plan things effectively.

Simple plumbing fixes

You don’t have to be an expert plumber to fix some small irritations.

If you have a leak under the sink, or it is not draining properly, put a basin under the sink’s u-bend to catch any water, and unscrew it to check if it has become blocked. Remove any blockages and check the seals in case they have become perished and are letting water leak. Replace, screw both ends tightly, and run some warm water to check the seals and that the blockage has been removed.

If your toilet is dripping water into the bowl constantly, it could be a fault in the seal at the bottom of the cistern. Switch off the water flow to the cistern and unscrew the interior mechanism to expose the seal. Remove it and replace it, ensuring that you tighten the interior mechanism so that you have a solid seal. Flush the toilet to ensure that you have solved the problem.

Improving your window coverings

Putting up curtains or blinds is the way that many people cover their windows. If you find that these are not the best way to control the amount of light coming into your rooms, then a different method could be required. Window shutters, especially those made of various woods, may be familiar to you from visiting countries on the Mediterranean where fierce sun needs to be controlled, but also in Alpine areas where the cold needs to be kept at bay.

Window shutters can be designed to fit all shapes and sizes of window, and you can get guides for installing window shutters that will take you step by step through what you need to do. It’s a bigger job to tackle, but a guide will help you in terms of the tools that you need and the techniques for installation. Once they’re done, you can have shutters that give you control of the light in your rooms, look stylish and smart, and can also help to insulate your spaces when the weather turns colder.

Give your furniture a makeover

If your wooden kitchen or dining room chairs are looking a little tired, give them a makeover with a fresh coat of paint, or rub them down and varnish them. Put down a covering underneath them to avoid spillages on the floor. It’s a quick and easy fix to refresh some of your furniture. Don’t try this with antiques!

Paint your walls

Lift your rooms with new paint to make a real difference to how they look and feel. Good preparation is the key to this DIY. Use filler where needed, scrape away old paint, and get rid of mould before any painting starts. Check online for advice so that you’re not disappointed with the job.

Kerb appeal

Simple things such as painting your front door and getting new door furniture such as a letterbox, number or house name will make a difference to how your home looks from the outside.

Take your time

DIY can be immensely rewarding, but rushing it can mean that you end up with a botched series of jobs. Be patient, research and plan, and your projects will benefit.

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