28 Sep 2020
Many Australian homeowners fancy themselves as Do It Yourself experts, and there is no doubt that a lot of satisfaction can be gained from working on and completing a job around your own home from start to finish.
For a lot of us, DIY work is more of a hobby or recreational outlet for the weekend rather than a chore, and another satisfying aspect is that if you do the job yourself – and do it properly - you can naturally save a lot of money.
There are some downsides, though.
For example, attempting a DIY project for which you don’t have the required skills or experience can lead to a finished product with inferior workmanship….in which case it won’t look as nice, last as long, or both.
Worse still, you may end up with a completely botched up job for which you would have to spend a lot more money to have a professional tradesman or company re-do the entire job.
In the case of projects like full kitchen and bathroom renovations, we strongly recommend that you go with a professional company which has a reputation for quality work and uses fully licenced and experienced tradesmen.
With kitchen renovations, you may get away with doing some of the work yourself if you are suitably skilled – such as painting the cabinet doors and installing the splashback and counter tops.
However, with full bathroom renovations, it’s best to stick with the professionals for the entire job as a lot can go wrong, from as early as the initial strip out stage….you may discover water damage or structural problems, which you would need to call in a professional to rectify, anyway.
Another huge downside of attempting a DIY project when you don’t have the required expertise is that it may lead to an accident and you may sustain an injury….or worse.
Statistics show that around 60 percent of homeowners who are into DIY work have experienced some kind of accident or misadventure at some stage.
Physical injuries are commonplace from mishaps like falling from roofs and ladders, slipping on wet or uneven surfaces, sustaining cuts and bruises following mishaps with tools and even suffering electric shocks.
You also risk breaking or otherwise damaging the structure you are trying to repair or replace or the new product that you are trying to install.
These misadventures are not exclusive to Australia as British website realhomes.com reports that almost 20 percent of home handymen suffer electric shocks while almost 35% of DIY-ers have had an accident requiring professional medical attention.
Rule of thumb is that if your electrical work requires anything much more than changing a light bulb or a similar basic task, you should call in an electrician to do the job.
The same applies to plumbing. Both of these trades require several years of training as much of their work is quite complicated – not to mention often hazardous if attempted by an ‘amateur’.
The figures in America with regard to DIY mistakes and injuries are also quite alarming.
doityourself.com reports that 20% of those taking on DIY projects every year are hospitalised….and that doesn’t include those suffering from injuries from simple hand tools like hammers and knives.
How injuries may occur with hammers is fairly obvious (ouch!!) but you would be surprised how many injuries occur with knives.
Please don’t be complacent when using a knife - remember to always cut away from yourself - and don’t carry a knife around for no reason. Importantly, only use knives for what they are intended….otherwise, it is quite easy to cut yourself.
Ladders are an essential part of any home handyman’s ‘arsenal’ but if not used safely, things will end up in tears. Check your ladder regularly for any faults. Ensure that you only use it on a level surface and don’t ever place it on top of another surface (like a table). Falls from ladders can lead to broken limbs, backs or necks and sometime death.
We have already mentioned that even powerless hand tools can cause mishaps and injuries while those which are powered can be extremely hazardous if used inappropriately. Always ensure that the cords are not frayed and never use electrical hand tools around flammables or gas.
Larger power tools should be used with extreme caution and definitely not when you are on medication, feeling tired or have been drinking alcohol.
You may think that you know every square metre of your home and garden – every little nook and cranny – but if attempting DIYs, you cannot be too careful as there are potential hazards everywhere.
As indicated earlier, DIY projects can be fun, as well as cost-saving, but you have to weigh up whether the task at hand is within your skill set and whether there are any hazards involved.
Will the money you may save be worth the appearance of your finished project, let alone the unnecessary risks you may take along the way?
The same goes for work on your house’s exterior or in the garden. Always take care when using the lawn mower, whipper-snipper, pruning shears etc. And it goes without saying to be extra careful on the roof or ladder, clearing gutters etc.
Indoors or outdoors, you cannot be too careful! Always use gloves, overalls, enclosed footwear and protective eyewear when appropriate. Ensure that toxic products like cleaning agents and chemicals are in tightly sealed containers and away from the reach of children.
And remember, if you’re in any doubt as to whether the work involved is within your DIY capabilities, always err on the side of caution and contact a professional tradesman or company.
At Yes I Can Project Group, we provide upwards of 30 different services for homeowners, from hanging a mirror in the bathroom to full house renovations.
We can quote you on any job – large or small – within the Greater Sydney area, bordered by Gosford in the north to Wollongong in the south and the Blue Mountains in the west.
Our prices are extremely competitive and our fully qualified and experienced tradesmen will ensure that you will be more than happy with the finished product.