Time for a spot of D.I.Why?
Summer is DIY peak time – especially with abundant daylight showing up faults and the good weather allowing us to do outdoor jobs.
But before you embark on your project, you need to plan as it’s all too easy to get carried away and end up wasting money.
Very few embark on big jobs such as home extensions, or new kitchens and bathrooms. They are time-consuming, need varied and sometimes specialist skills and require knowledge of planning rules and building regulations – fall foul of these and you might have to demolish and start again. So it’s best to get a specialist company involved – ask for quotes from at least three so you get both a variety of ideas on how to proceed plus a better idea of price.
The internet has a wealth of advice and instructional videos for more manageable jobs – essential if you have never tried something before. Many DIY stores are a treasure trove of expertise – some even employ retired tradespeople to give help.
Make a list of what you need before you go to the store. Err on the generous side. The square metres a can of paint will cover will depend on the surface – what it says on the tin may assume an expert decorator with ideal conditions. It’s annoying to run out of materials or find tools don’t work and have to make a second journey.
Always ask yourself whether your project is worth the time and cost. If it’s dealing with a fault such as a rotten door, whether it’s DIY or you get someone to do the work, the answer is nearly always yes. And cheering up a room with a new lick of paint is rarely going to be a waste of your day.
Bigger jobs – new driveways, extensions, new kitchens – are for home owners. Whether you do them may depend on how long you intend to stay at the address. If the answer is “a long time” then go ahead. But if you are intending to move, don’t “over improve” you maynotrecoupthecostswhenyou sell the property.
If you do any work seek out a Which? trusted trader who is properly rated to do the job and vetted.
Most buyers want a home that’s functional. So it’s pointless laying out huge sums for a luxury bathroom or kitchen which may be out of keeping with the property or not to the taste of the next owners. It might make your home stand out for the wrong reasons.