A Quick Fix : A Beginners Guide To Basic DIY


I’m not going to lie, I am awful at DIY. Whether it’s hanging shelves or painting walls, I’m the last person volunteering to fix up the home.

Months after their purchase, I still have a set of shelves sat in the corner of my living room, staring at me and wondering why I’ve never made the effort to put them up.

Image by the fixer

Not to mention all the other neglected jobs around the house that need doing.

Naturally, I could just hire a professional to do all my DIY chores for me, but instead of forking out large sums of money for what is relatively simple work, I’ve decided to have one last crack at this whole messy DIY business.

Know Your Enemy

Knowing how to effectively begin any DIY task is massively important. Giving a thorough reading to a professional guide book is a good start, but speaking to a professional or getting a hand from a well-informed friend is even better.

However, if you’ve given your job a whole lot of thought and still can’t get your head around it, maybe that phone call to the professionals isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Don’t be a tool. Use them!

There’s an old saying that goes ‘a bad workman always blames his tools’, but occasionally there’s an exception to this.

Any handyman worth his salt will tell you that your first point of call should be to ensure you have the correct tools. It’s no good starting a job only to soon find yourself hammering nails with the back of your shoe.

When shopping for tools you are always going to be tempted by bargain items, I know I certainly am, but any cheap rubbish simply won’t do the trick.

Take my advice and invest in a decent set of tools appropriate to the job you’re doing.

Image by pennuja

It’s no good starting a job with the wrong appliances. The last thing you need is for all your hard work to suddenly collapse afterwards. Such recklessness may also place you and your family in danger.

Some valuable research and a few extra quid on materials will make all the difference.

Permission to Plan

So you’ve got your tools and managed to will yourself away from the television long enough to actually use them, but do you have planning permission for your project? Even if you own your home, you can’t just starting knocking holes in the wall.

A planning permit is not just a device cooked up by the council to annoy the hell out of you. They are there for your own safety, and are vital in certifying that you are personally insured to carry out the job.

Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’ll need a permit or not, so it’s best to make sure. A simple phone call to your local council’s planning department should sort out any line of enquiry you have.

Can you imagine the disappointment you’ll feel in having your hours of hard work torn down, only to then receive a massive fine too? I think I’d probably cry.

Safety First

So you’ve got your tools and work has finally begun, but is there something else you’ve forgotten..?

It’s easy to neglect basic things like appropriate safety measures. Always check what kind of protective clothing each individual job requires before starting. You may need to use safety goggles, hard hats, overalls, gloves etc…

Whatever item is necessary, remember they are designed for your benefit and should be worn at all times. Even if you do look like a total dork wearing them.

Last, but certainly not least, make sure you do a thorough job when building. Never cut corners or leave anything less than 100% safe.

Okay, putting up my shelves was hardly a massive DIY achievement, but it’s a start and this effort has made me want to do more home improvements.

Now that’s something I never thought I’d say.

James is a keen writer and adventurer, who is not as great at DIY. He writes blogs for Rapid Racking and is determined to get acquainted with his hammer.

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