Guest post by Jim Vogel, ElderAction.org
Whether you’ve decided to change out the light fixtures in your guest bathroom or build a privacy fence around your property, the decision to DIY can be a great way to cut costs and be a little more hands on in your home renovation endeavor. However, simple mistakes can cost you and turn the experience into a stressful one, and not adhering to safety precautions can lead to disastrous consequences.
Do You Have the Necessary Tools?
Nothing can slow down a job more than not having the necessary tools and materials. Constantly stopping to make trips to the local hardware store is an easy way to turn your DIY project into a headache. Before you start your project, sit down and make a list of everything you could possibly need. Include extra and backup materials in your list in case something breaks or gets lost in the shuffle. Take into consideration any power tools you might need. If you don’t already have them, you will need to buy or rent them. You’ll also need to find a place to safely store them in your home.
Don’t wait until you’ve gotten paint or work dust in your eye to decide that you should probably invest in safety goggles. As you list out your materials and tools, include safety items such as masks, goggles, gloves, hard hats, and a first aid kit. Don’t forget that what you wear is important too, so consider investing in a sturdy pair of closed-toe work boots. Read up on all equipment that you aren’t familiar with, particularly if there is electrical equipment involved, and make sure you’re using the right tool for the job. To avoid injury, make sure your workspace is organized and clean. DIY projects are a process, so take your time and don’t rush to avoid injury to yourself and others.
Are My Measurements Right?
Having the rights tools is essential, but the right measurements are crucial as well. Failing to take proper measurements is one of the most overlooked aspects of a DIY project, yet it is the most simple. Home renovation projects often require specific measurements, and if your measurements are wrong, it could be costly. For example, you may find yourself ordering or buying a part that is either too big or too small or having an excess or shortage of material. To avoid this costly mistake, double and triple check your measurements, and write them down in neat, legible writing. You’d be surprised how much of a difference 1/3 or 1/8 makes. If you are unsure if the measurements you made are accurate, make a trip to your local home store and ask a professional for tips and advice. Consider showing them the measurements you’ve already made and ask if it sounds typical. They help homeowners tackle DIY projects daily, so there is no such thing as a crazy question.
Do I Need Help?
A DIY project may mean that you do it yourself, but it doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help from friends, family, and neighbors. It can’t hurt to have additional advice or suggestions on how to complete a project.
Even if you have help, it is important that you are able to recognize when you are in over your head and need to call a professional. If you find that your DIY project is a little bit more complex than you originally thought, don’t be ashamed to call in a pro. Instead, think of the time and money you will save by having the home renovation done right the first time. There will always be other DIY projects, so don’t get discouraged. Your next DIY project might just be right around the corner.
ABOUT JIM VOGEL
Jim Vogel, co-founder of ElderAction, is passionate about promoting senior health and safety. He enjoys sharing valuable information with seniors and their caregivers.