Usual Trouble Spots In DIY Home Improvement

Many people want to get in on DIY home improvement. Curiosity might have killed the cat, but curiosity for individuals who engage in DIY home improvement is gold. The reason for this is that often, curiosity is the strongest “hook” in every DIY home improvement project.

Interestingly enough, this curiosity pushes people to pursue seemingly daunting tasks: replacing the electric gate closer, repairing faulty electric wiring, fixing broken furniture, replacing worn-out parts of the wall, etc. Though the general success rate for these attempts varies, there remains the fact that many people continue with their DIY projects, sacrificing time and cash just to complete a project.

The pleasure is in the making, as they always say. However, there would be less trouble ahead if common trouble issues are known and avoided.

The Usual Trouble Spots

  1. Willingness to finish- no DIY home improvement project would prosper if you are not willing to “attack” a project until its logical conclusion. DIY sometimes has a bad name because some people start two or three projects and abandon them midway.

What happens when a person treads on the dangerous territory of DIY home improvement laziness? The house will be in shambles, or at least will suffer from a lot of clutter.

One should not sacrifice the beauty of a home to do-it-yourself shenanigans. If you don’t have enough willpower to replace the door that you just forcefully removed with your power drill, then perhaps it’s time that you put it back to where it was before.

Never begin a big project that you cannot finish at all. To do so would be a waste of valuable resources.

  1. Lack of skill- let’s face it. Not everything in life could be achieved through sheer willpower alone. You should take time to learn and develop the necessary skills as well.

If you have no prior experience with carpentry, that can be remedied by studying the basics of carpentry. If you don’t know how to tinker with the electrical system of your house, then that’s okay, do your research first before you start pulling out the wires from their rightful places within the walls.

DIY or do it yourself-is not guesswork- it’s far from it. In its best manifestation, do it yourself is the application of what you learned on your own so far. Though some people might consider it play, it isn’t. DIY home improvement is not about messing around with a few pieces of wood and some nails, laughing about how horrible the finished product is, and throwing away the product of your labor.

This pervading mindset in DIY is harmful in many ways- first, it tarnishes the very basic precepts of DIY, and it defeats the purpose of “doing it yourself”. If you go about it like a simple school project, chances are you would be wasting cash on something that you should have just bought in a shopping mall or a department store.

Home Improvement Tools and Materials

Tools are essential with home improvement projects. And if you are inspired to be a certified do-it-yourselfer, you have to be familiar with the tools of the trade and the materials that are best suited for your projects. You need a range of basic tools while working around the house whether the work involves repair, remodeling, redecorating, or construction of an additional wing or room.

The tools you will use will most likely depend on the kind of job you intend to undertake and the kind of materials you plan to use. If you are planning to construct an additional room of wooden materials, you will need tools best suited for woodwork. If the additional room is concrete then you need a different set of tools. In any case, if your intention is not to see a carpenter ever again around your house you’ll need more than a couple of things. You’ll need tools for floors, ceilings, walls, and cabinets. Perhaps if you are inclined to go into plumbing and electrical you will need other tools appropriate for such jobs.
Carpentry Tools

For carpentry, you’ll need a few. But don’t forget the workbench. The quality of the workbench you construct is the initial gauge of how you’ll fare in home improvement projects.

  • Measuring tools. A tape measure will do but a combination square will provide other uses such as determining the “squareness” of a joint. It is also useful when you are using handheld circular saws. It can be adjusted to measure heights as well as depth.
  • Handsaws. Easy to use, handy, and do not need electrical power, thus, cheap.
  • The Electric Drill. A versatile tool, it drills holes, sands, and grinds, drives screws home, and even stirs paint. A tool you cannot do without
  • Hammers and screwdrivers.
  • Random Orbital Sander. This is a one-handed tool that is convenient and driven by an electric motor. It is used to speed up sanding rough surfaces or for fine finish due to its circular random motion.
  • Planes. The esthetic tool in the carpenter’s kit. There are three distinct planes: the jack plane used for taking off rough surfaces of the board, the short smoothing plane, used to even up the irregular marks made by the jack plane, and the fore plane, used to straighten edges of finished surfaces and boards.

Organic Materials For The Most Common Parts Of The House

Now let’s go to materials that are now getting a lot of attention among home improvement practitioners for being environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

  • Organic based-paints are environmentally friendly and do not emit a pungent odor.
  • Wall materials: You can also use transparent glass tiles, formaldehyde-free panels made from agricultural wastes, and man-made stone products.
  • Counters and Vanities. Glues are going natural and glues from soy are gradually replacing formaldehyde sealants and adhesives in furniture plywood. For cabinets and floors recycled, lumber is available for you. Even stone and tile counters are now also being made from recycled products.
  • Heating: Check on Radiant floors. Heated towel warmers are versatile as they warm the towel for comfort and at the same time reduce moisture to avoid mildew growth.
  • Fabrics. Plush, 100 percent cotton fabrics are best but the bamboo fabric is a good alternative.

These are some general information on tools and materials for a DIY to consider. Certainly, there are hundreds more that you have to encounter before you can become a certified do-it-yourselfer.

DIY Project Killers – What To Avoid When Engaged In DIY Home Improvement Projects

Do-it-yourself home improvement or home renovation can be one of the most challenging and rewarding things that you can do at your own house. With the right tools and the right plan, plus hard work, you would probably be able to execute perfectly a repair or an installation job. However, there are some mistakes that people should avoid if they want their DIY projects to prosper.

  1. Lack of central planning- planning is vital in any undertaking. Whether you’re into marketing, business appraisal, or DIY projects, the same principles apply. You need a plan before you begin your project. Experienced home renovators have been doing their jobs for longer periods and yet, they still rely on plans- both in their heads and those that have been written on paper.

What are the advantages of having a central plan? A central plan would include the timeframe, the cost, and the actual process of how to execute a project. If you’re working from scratch and basing everything on half-hearted measurements, guesswork, and luck, then you’re not executing a DIY project: you’re simply playing around with power tools and your hands.

  1. Budget- some people think that all DIY projects can be executed flawlessly even if you make extreme cuts around corners. Twisted assumptions regarding how a project is carried out by hired workers and a general lack of knowledge of lead to unnecessary and sometimes even risky “money-saving” measures.

Why is it risky to cut the budget? Think SAFETY. If you are installing new electrical wires, to “save money”, some safety devices would be kicked out of the picture like circuit breakers and alarms. A DIY project is not about saving money and producing something that “looks good” or “looks clean” only.

Experts recommend utmost diligence when deciding when to cut back the budget. If a project is generally harmless, then go ahead. But if involves the electrical system, the water or gas system that can flood or burn down your house, then the resounding answer to the question “should I cut the budget?” is no. GP

  1. Lack of skill- do-it-yourself projects, home renovation, or home improvement is all about learning- at a pace that is fast enough to get decent results. You wouldn’t want to end up having a lopsided cabinet hanging from the center of your kitchen.

But there is a catch here. Not all jobs in the house can be carried out by simply one man or woman, or a family of five. Some major jobs should be handled by a crew of professional workers who already know the ropes. The reason for this warning is that you might end up spending more money on future repairs of uneven projects that are the result of a sheer lack of skill.

Some projects can easily be learned- but one should remember that not everything in the house can be done by a novice. To do so would not only be irresponsible but possibly quite dangerous.

Advantages Of DIY Home Projects

DIY home improvement has gained ground in the past few years due to two distinct reasons: rising prices of goods and rising prices of home improvement through contracted work. Many people are now opting to solve their little home improvement problems themselves, with the aid of knowledge, and with a lot of diligence.

Carpentry and plumbing are not simple activities. Nonetheless, the streamlining of systems and design in the past few decades has made do-it-yourself home improvement doable. All one needs is time, some tools, and a clear aim. Even if the results are not that great, as long as it is strong and durable, it will do in the long run. Beautification can be pursued afterward.

How does one capture the “itch” for do-it-yourself projects? Solving home improvement problems would come naturally for anyone- especially for the ones who already have at least the minimum tools at home. If you don’t have basic carpentry tools, then perhaps it’s time that you visit your nearest hardware store to buy some.

The Tools Of The Trade

What kind of tools would you need for basic home improvement? The following are some of the basic tools that would be of great use to you whether you wish to make a new cabinet or repair broken chairs:

  •  Hammers- never underestimate the humble hammer. Try to acquire a hammer that is not too light or too heavy. Aim for hammers that have solid steel construction, from the neck to the head. The neck and head must be completely solid and should have been fused naturally. Handles may be made of wood or sheathed with a rubber grip. If you’re not used to carpentry, it might be a good idea to first check if the hammer you would be buying would be comfortable to use. If not, don’t force it- look elsewhere.
  •  Power tools- power tools make do-it-yourself home improvement less of a pain. Though the general level of difficulty of home improvement projects depends largely on the kind of work involved, investing in drills and wrenches would contribute a lot to making your DIY projects more pleasant. Aside from this, you would also finish projects much faster, and you would be expending less energy.
  •  Wood and boards- though it might be a good idea to have a general stash of wooden boards, plywood, and small planks available in your garage, always limit your purchases to what you would probably need shortly. The reason for this is that the wood might be damaged before you get to use it- something you won’t want to happen especially if you’re engaging in DIY projects to save money.
  •  Nails, screws, bolts, nuts- whether you should buy different kinds of nails or screws depends largely also on your projected activities in the coming months. If you think you’re going to be repairing the furniture, then it might be a good idea if you buy the proper nail sizes. However, if you want supplies for general home repairs, try to get half-inch to one-inch nails.