Time for a spot of D.I.Why?

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home -

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.


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