Enthusiasm for your DIY projects and renovations is the best attitude to have before beginning any task, but this shouldn’t be at the cost of having a level head. Taking on a project too hastily can often result in costly mistakes. On Selling Houses Australia, I’ve seen the same error made time and time again so I’ve put together my top tips on how to avoid these throughout your next renovation.
- Leave the specialist jobs to the pros
Taking on skills you aren’t trained for is not only risky but also dangerous. Jobs such as plumbing, electrics and construction should never be attempted by anyone other than a qualified professional. If you’re looking to do things like open up a room by knocking down a wall, it’s always important to consult a builder first. A builder will be able to identify if a wall is load-bearing or structural, i.e whether or not it can be knocked down. Not consulting a professional for these major jobs is a mistake many DIYers make, which can result in major damage to your home, turning what would have initially seemed like an easy way to cut costs into unplanned repairs.
- Do your research
Google and YouTube have revolutionised the DIY world by showing us what we can achieve ourselves within our homes. It’s important to remember that you won’t always find the right answer from one Google search or by watching a YouTube tutorial. Before starting a task, make sure you research thoroughly and understand what it takes to achieve the best result.
- Plan and budget your project
Before you begin any renovation, it’s important to plan out the project and break it up into stages. This will ensure that the project is completed both on time and on budget. Most people have champagne tastes and beer budgets so make sure you do your maths for the entire project and not just the cost per room. Too often I’ve seen walls with no plaster or missing flooring due to a lack of planning that results in DIYers running out of time and/or money to complete the job.
- Tackle the project room-by-room
Once you’ve got a plan and budget in place, it’s best to tackle your project room-by-room or stage-by-stage. This will break the job up into easy-to-manage tasks and won’t seem like such a daunting challenge. Also, keep in mind that having a clear design plan to begin with will ensure there is cohesion in the final look, otherwise you could end up with a disjointed disaster.
- Preparation is key before painting
Paint can be used to hide a multitude of sins but it can’t hide everything — including cracks and holes. Before you begin any paint job, it’s important to get the preparation right to ensure you get the best result. Filling in holes and sandpapering might seem tedious but if you get it right the first time, you’ll avoid touch-up jobs in the future.
- Be budget conscious without going cheap
There is a big misconception that ‘going cheap’ is the only way to be budget conscious. While you’ll always have a budget in mind, which you need to stick to, there are ways of saving money on a project without going for the cheapest of everything. This usually results in using lesser quality products, which need to be replaced or repaired more often, which ends up being a higher cost than if you’d chosen a quality product to begin with.
- Create a colourful finish
Once renovations are complete, it’s always nice to polish it off with a healthy dose of colour. Clinical, boring and no personality is certainly not a brief I’ve ever been given by a client and definitely aren’t moods I’d encourage. Before you pick up a brush, it’s important to take your time to choose a paint colour that will complete your look and make you happy with the result. Start off by seeking inspiration for the colour palette you want to create and select tones that will evoke the right mood for you and give your project a great finishing touch – no matter what the room.