DIY and Home Improvement Is Easy If You Start Right.

DIY is easy for most people, we are not talking rocket science are we. We are talking about you picking up  some manual skills, using a bit of common sense and improving your home.

Start with small jobs, build your confidence, slowly pick up a few essential tools.

The next time you see a plumber or a builder, study the guy and ask yourself what makes him different from me? Chances are he's just an ordinary guy doing an ordinary job. - Sometimes a very ordinary job.

He has had to learn a lot of things, over possibly many years,  but you don't need to know a fraction of what he has to know  If you only want to fix a door, or renovate your kitchen bench tops, you don't need to know about roofing.  

You are probably right to think "if he can do it, so can I".
It may take you longer, and you might make a few mistakes on the way. Still you will come out in front in more ways than you think.

  • If you are practical, willing to work and can set aside the time. You can do DIY and home renovation jobs easier than you think.
  • You'll save money.
  • You'll be sure the job has been done right.
  • Best of all - you'll get so much self satisfaction out of doing it yourself.

You still don't believe me?

Listen to this, I remember clearly a morning nearly 50 years ago when a chap walked into the joinery workshop where I was an apprentice. He placed a new half circle hall table in front of our shop foreman and the rest of us for inspection. There were about six tradesmen joiners there ranging from 30 to 75 years old.

We were all blown away by the quality of the workmanship in that little piece.
All the more so because we knew that Ian, the guy who had made it, was an amateur. He was the manager of a small brass foundry down the street.

So how could Ian (a so called amateur) or anyone else like him do a truly professional job?

    He had the time to do it right.
    If he made a mistake he had the time to do it again. Most contractors who give you a price for doing a job are restricted by time, the quicker they do the job the more money they make and the sooner they are on to the next job. They are nearly always quoting against the competition. If they squeeze the price too much or they make mistakes the temptation is to skimp to recover costs.
    He was willing to learn.
    He read magazines, he came to our shop often and picked the older guys brains for methods and hints and tips. He was interested in what people were doing and why they did it that way etc.
    You can do the same.
    It's far easier to learn new skills these days. The Internet is an amazing place for all sorts of information. Get searching, there's heaps out there. Be curious, learn something new. There are so many labour saving devices out there. Things to make it easy to hold, clamp, saw, drill, lift, fix. The list is endless.  

I read  Robert Persig's " Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" early on in my career, and a lot of his ideas are still with me today.  He describes how he was p....d off by the standard of workmanship from so called tradesmen who seemed more intent on listening to the radio and enjoying themselves, than the job they were being paid to do.

He then went on to teach himself how to do it better, and he did.  (This is a very simple example from a complex book).

To this day I very rarely listen to the radio when I am working.  (Well maybe when I am doing something like painting :-)

As a carpenter I taught myself to weld, not so much as to do it as THE welder on on contracts but to be able to recognise a good weld (and welder) when I see one. Then it had other advantages that I hadn't thought about.

  • I knew how to do the preparation work so that I could get things ready for the welder.
  • I could take weld things in position so that when the welder arrived he could get straight into it.
  • I could do all my own non-critical jobs like making up jigs and templates.

So almost by accident, just in passing I learned a useful skill. and so can you, it ain't rocket science.

Here's a link to a young friend's DIY website. Bill is a great example of getting stuck in and and doing it himself. He's saving money learning new skills and what's more he is passing on his knowledge to others.

Not found it yet? Try this FAST SITE SEARCH or the whole web

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Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
You must check your own local conditions.
Copyright © Bill Bradley 2007-2012. All rights reserved.
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