You built that IKEA bookshelf, changed the light bulb, maybe even fixed up the garden fence and you get a bit of praise from your wife or significant other. Slowly you start to think home repair stuff – after all, you’ve watched all the programs on TV. It can’t be that hard, can it?
At Bob’s Handyman Services, we know that there are common household repairs that you should tackle yourself and others that you should definitely stay far away from, i.e. electrical repairs. If you’re taking on a job that’s significantly beyond your technical skill set, a Youtube video tutorial is probably not going to help much.
While you might not cause significant damage to the house, there is the potential that you can hurt yourself if you’re not careful. Let’s cover off some other common handyman mistakes that you should keep an eye out for.
1) Choose your battles wisely
We’ve spoken earlier about working on your skills. This is more valid than ever when you’re choosing your battles with plumbing repairs. While a clogged drain is something we’ve all had to tackle – generally with chemicals – there will come a time when that clog simply will not succumb to any DIY effort.
This is when you want to get a professional plumber to help as snaking a drain is something better left to the pros. Aside from the fact that it’s a messy job – if you have multiple sinks or toilets clogged up, the source of the problem might be outside of your home. In this case, unless it’s the local authorities’ responsibility, you’re going to have to excavate and dig!
2) Make sure you have the right toolset
There is an old phrase that goes – “a bad workman, blames his tools” – and while this is probably correct, the first problem many handymen face is not having the right tool for the job. It’s really important to ensure that the tools you have for the job are the ones that can actually get it done. You wouldn’t try to paint a wall with your children’s painting set, would you? Even so, you can be certain that a team of professional painters will 100% efficient with the right gear and materials ready.
Figure out what you need to do the job – this is where those Youtube videos are actually useful – and make sure that you have it on hand before you start tackling the task. As a takeaway though, every house should have a basic set of power tools and a decent well-stocked toolbox. You never know what you might need in an emergency and its best to have it easily accessible.
Also owning a powerful pressure washer can many many cleaning jobs a breeze. And if you make a mess of your garden by piling up bricks or wood you’ll be able to blast away all the grime in seconds
3) Give Yourself Time
All those shows you watch on TV, unfortunately, most are merely a script and the DIY “pros” have solid professionals helping and guiding them. You’re not a professional, and you’re not on TV, so give yourself enough time to make preparations in peace, and get the job done right.
Not allocating enough time is simply the wrong strategy as if there is a deadline or time crunch looming, this only means you’ll rush the job and probably ruin it.
Be realistic with your allotment of time and however much time you think you might take – if this is the first time you’re doing the job – double it! It’s better to have more time in the end instead of making a mistake because you were in a rush. According to the experts at Junk Bunk, some tasks are simply better off left to professionals.
4) Popcorn Ceilings
Note: A popcorn ceiling (slang), often called cottage cheese ceiling, a stucco ceiling or even as an acoustic ceiling is a technique used for spraying paint over a ceiling, leaving an easy to distinguish texture behind.
This “feature” was really just a way for builders to cheap out completing a room. It allowed tradesmen to hide any imperfections without having to worry about stucco or drywall.
Before you start scraping it all of though (which is messy), make sure that it is safe. Ceilings installed between 1950-1980 might actually contain asbestos and if that’s the case you’re going to need to get a specialist to help remove it.
5) Understand your Budget
While you might be embarking on this project in an effort to save money so that you can sell your house fast, you need to realise that there is still going to be a cost.
Unfortunately, an all too common of a mistake is not budgeting enough to get the job done. It’s often better to not start at all versus starting and then stopping half way because you’ve run out of funds. That last thing you want to do is cause irreversible damage to your property which would put off both estate agents and even cash house buyers purchasing your home!
If you’re absolutely confident in your ability to get a job done, be sure to do the necessary research in advance which includes budgeting for materials and extra manpower so you don’t end up out of pocket with only half the job completed!