Saturday, January 10, 2015

6 Vital Questions to Answer Before You DIY

Heading into the weekend, you might be thinking about starting a new home project. But before you start, there are some very important things to keep in mind.

Here are 6 vital questions to ask yourself BEFORE you Do-It-Yourself:

Do I have the proper tools?

The last thing you want to do is start a project without all the necessary equipment to complete the job. Halting your project to run to the hardware store, or worse having to leave it undone for long periods of time could be a real inconvenience. But probably even worse, is attempting to use equipment that is not designed for the use you have in mind. Improper use of tools is extremely dangerous and hardly ever produces desired results. And speaking of safety, in addition to the proper tools, be sure you have the proper safety equipment to go with them - safety glasses, gloves, closed-toed shoes, dust masks, hearing protection, proper ventilation to name a few.

Am I comfortable doing this task?

Never attempt a task when you are not 100 percent comfortable. If you don't like heights, don't put yourself in a situation where your fear or unsteadiness could cause you or others injury. If you've never used a particular power tool before, this might not be the best time to try. Remember that fear is sometimes a really valuable instinct that protects us from danger (even self-inflicted danger!)

Do I have everything I need to finish the task?

Besides having the right tools to safely complete the job, do you have all other necessary materials? Organize the project ahead of time and write a list of all the necessary materials. Once you are ready to start your job, be sure everything is on hand. You don't want to be searching for pipe fittings or that tube of caulk you bought in the middle of your project; or worse, have to stop everything to run to the store.

Do I have the skills required to complete this job?

Not everyone should attempt every job. There is quite a difference between hanging shelves, hanging a door, tiling a floor, or conducting electrical work. Each project requires a specific skill set and skill level. Know your abilities. Sometimes it makes sense to call a professional so that the resulting work is proper and safe. This is especially true of electrical work!

Do I need a permit?

Some work around your home requires a permit(s). And despite popular belief, these permits exist for your own safety and protection. Always check to see if your DIY project requires permits and inspections, and don't cut corners.

Do I have enough time?

Be sure you have time, both to complete the task today, if it's a short one, or the commitement that it requires to take on a larger project that draws you away from family time etc. Are you ready to take on a month-long project? Or is it likely to go unfinished when other commitments pop up? Sometimes hiring a professional is well worth the time savings - but only you can make that call.

Now that you've answered all the questions, happy DIY-ing!

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