A new year brings new projects, many of which will be DIY projects. DIY projects can be a blessing or curse, depending upon how you plan for them. Over the next year we want each of you to achieve all of your DIY goals, and to help you accomplish them we’ve put together this cheat sheet of 5 DIY tips for the new year.
This guide will take you through some of the learnings we have come across, whether it be through our own projects or through watching the mistakes of others. By following these tips you’ll shortly become a pro DIYer.
1. Start Small
If it’s your first time doing a DIY project it may be enticing to start with a DIY project like one of the best IKEA hacks of 2020. We would strongly discourage taking on such a large project right out of the gate. Our first project many years ago was replacing our baseboards. Excellent first-time DIY projects include faux pottery, floating shelves, or even a DIY artwork frame.
The common thread with each of these projects is that they can be accomplished in a relatively short amount of time. The idea behind picking a small project is to allow you to practice before taking your talents to the big stage.
These smaller projects will boost your confidence and will allow you to take on more difficult projects in the future. If you asked my husband a couple of years ago how we were going to finish our basement, he would have said hire somebody.
2. Use The Right Tools
I’m not sure if anyone has ever tried to do a DIY project with the wrong tools, but let me tell you, there is nothing more painful than not having the proper tools.
My favorite example of this goes back to our first project of replacing our baseboards. To save money (not taking into account our time) we thought we could hand cut each baseboard in our home with a box and hand saw. Let me tell you, that doesn’t work. Also, a finishing nailer saves a ton of time on this kind of project!
Tools can be expensive though. To get around expensive tools borrow them from friends and family. Also, for specialized tools rent them from your local hardware store.
3. Plan Ahead & Know Your Budget
Planning is one of the most overlooked steps in DIY projects. My husband is a serial planner (he literally has a spreadsheet for everything). One of his biggest pet peeves for projects is multiple trips to the hardware store (let’s get real, this is everyone’s pet peeve). By planning effectively you are able to minimize the number of trips to the hardware store.
Watching DIY YouTube videos about your project is a great way to learn everything that you need to do for your project. Honestly, there is nothing better than watching someone else during your project before you do.
DIY budgets are also something that can quickly get out of hand. If you have an effective plan from the beginning, it’s much easier to stay on budget for your project.
4. Call A Friend
The 4th DIY tip is to call a friend. DIY projects are all about having fun and having a friend help you with your project has multiple benefits.
The first benefit of having a friend help with your project is that it gets done faster. The second benefit is that there is someone there to catch your mistakes.
5. Know When To Call A Professional
The last of our 5 DIY tips is to know when to call a professional. It’s tempting to try and save money on a project by doing the job yourself but sometimes things are best left to professionals. Leave projects involving electricity or gas to professionals. Also, projects that you are only going to do once and take an incredible amount of skill (plastering) should probably be left to professionals.