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How to prevent DIY disasters

It’s easy to understand why many homeowners decide to have a go at DIY projects themselves. With the rise of online DIY guides and YouTube how-to’s it has become easier than ever to look up advice on fixing a leaky tap or exposing that beautiful brickwork in your living room. However, every day we hear horror stories of homeowners and landlords biting off far more than they can chew. So when should you tackle a job yourself and when should you consult the experts?

When a job comes to your attention, one of the first things that you need to consider is the time that it will take you to complete the job. A simple problem like a blocked drain or a leaky tap might only take you a few hours to fix but a few wrong turns and you could end up with an even bigger problem.  Let’s say you’ve decided to have a new kitchen fitted and the fitter has quoted what you see as an extortionate figure for a fit out. One option you may have here would be to purchase the parts and install everything yourself. This option is all well and good if you have experience fitting kitchens but if you don’t then it could be the beginning of a very long period of frustration, leaving you without use of your kitchen for a long period of time. This will simply waste time and delay the end result of having your kitchen fitted, by which time you may have understandably fallen out of love with it!

There is also the costing factor to bear in mind when planning a job. If you decide to tackle a DIY project yourself then you should ask yourself if you are able to source all the materials cheaper than a professional may be able to get them. Maybe you can, but if not then you may end up paying over the odds. Sometimes, instead of taking the job on yourself when you are unhappy with a quote you should simply shop around and see if you can get a better price elsewhere. Many tradesmen are quite happy to have the opportunity to beat a quote from a competitor.

Another point to consider is whether it is safe for you to carry out the job. Using dangerous equipment and chemicals or messing around with gas, electricity or plumbing can be a recipe for disaster without the proper training. Professional tradesmen are equipped with years of experience and have often gained professional qualifications which demonstrate they are able to carry out their jobs to a high standard and in a safe manner.

This is not to say that you should avoid doing DIY projects all together. Quite the opposite, you should always be looking at ways to improve your property. However, you should always put careful thought and consideration into whether you go it alone.

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