Do-it-yourself: How this beautiful mess morphs into a memorable cost saving initiative with these 5 simple steps.
Buying a house is a huge investment. Making that house into your home is an equivalently massive endeavor as well. Some form of makeover is usually required to transform your purchase into your personal sanctuary. Most prefer to do a complete renovation (or remodeling) while others prefer to have some minor home improvement done to their place. Unfortunately, both renovation and home improvement are synonym with monetary cost, which inclines based on your requirements as well as the difficulty of the task.
While we can’t escape from the reality that experts are needed for most of the taxing renovation works, there are some tasks that do not require an expert attention. Enter the world of DIY or do-it-yourself. From simple things like adding picture hooks or curtain rails to slightly challenging tasks like fixing your ceiling fan or cornice, DIY will definitely help you alleviate the cost involved in making your own home.
For those who are interested in giving DIY a try, here are some pointers to help as you start your journey.
1. Start small
Start by selecting a small area or item to begin with. Avoid picking the largest area in your home to begin with. As you begin, you probably would not know how much effort is required so completing work on a small area can provide a good estimate. As a beginner, its common to make mistakes, and that’s okay. Concealing these is easier in private areas like bedrooms rooms rather that an open space like your living room. The same applies for items as well. A costly mistake would probably put you of from any future DIY, so start with something cheap and easily replaceable. Eventually, you will gradually outgrow making beginner mistakes. Get a feel of things, see what you are capable of and build your confidence along the way.
2. Learn to sacrifice and be disciplined
DIY saves you cost. However, you are saving cost at the expense of time and effort. Be prepared to run around town looking for the best deals, and more often that not having two or three trips to the same shop just to find the right part. Be prepared to sacrifice your weekends, and even weekdays if you are in a hurry. Once you have started and you know your pace, prepare a schedule and stick to it. A piece of advice, do not delay a task by assuming you will complete it on the next trip or once you have moved in. You will have a ton of things to do by then, so finish whatever pending task that you might have when you can.
3. Do not be afraid to experiment
Remember, this is your home. Rather than trying to impress others (whom only visit occasionally), transform it into something that you are comfortable with. Play around with ideas, and try doing something that fits your likes instead of just following the general template. A simple example here would be your home front door. How many of you have repainted it, rather than keeping it at stock color? How about spicing it up with some vibrant color instead? A red colored door would go very well with a pure white background and a few green plants. A step further would be two colors on the door – different colors on the inside and out, which would give you a sense of immersion as you travel between your home and the outside world. Be daring and be creative.
4. Don’t be afraid of mistakes
Mistakes are part and parcel of any DIY initiative. As long as it is not a major mistake (drilling into a pipe/wiring), you most likely will be able to fix it yourself. Chipped the wall while drilling? Just have some white cement handy and patch it up. Remember, the defects made during these DIY attempts are priceless memories made by you and your family. You will always have a tale to reminisce of whom, how and when those defects were made. So stop worrying about presentation or perfection and start making memories.
5. Safety first
I can’t emphasize this enough. No savings are worth any injury, physically or mentally. Common safety items to have include – safety glasses, gloves and if possible hard shoes. Keep a first aid kit around as well with basic amenities, and always try to keep another person around when attempting any DIY activity. You’ll be more confident climbing up a ladder with someone securely holding it for you than doing it solo. (#NoYolo)
DIY can be a very satisfying experience. The sense of accomplishment more than makes up for the time and occasional frustration encountered along the way. It also is a fun and excellent family bonding activity, producing unforgettable memories along the way. All this coupled together with the fact that you are saving money, will hopefully entice you to start your own DIY adventure today!
In the second part of this series we will dive into when and where to buy items for your home, and touch base on one of the trickiest aspects of home improvement – color selection. Stay tuned!
Have you dabbled in the secret art of DIY before? Share with us your story in the comments below!