Nothing inspires the DIYer in me like the combination of a frugal mindset, and warm weather. If the same holds true for you, then you may be considering tackling a to-do list of your own. There is something extremely attractive about the DIY mystique; it is one of the most satisfying experiences to look at the fruits of your labour and think “I did that!”—or at least, it can be. But there are times when DIYing can go terribly wrong. Whether this is because we aim for projects that are far too ambitious for anyone other than a professional, or whether it is because we have missed any of the critical steps for a successful project, DIY catastrophes do happen from time to time. To minimize those instances, here is a list of DIY dos and don’ts:
Do overestimate the amount of time each step will take you. To be safe, err on the side of extreme generosity when allotting time for the various portions of your project.
Don’t make assumptions about what your insurance policy will cover in the event of self caused damage. Instead, verify your coverage in advance so you know exactly what the terms are before proceeding.
Do make a list of any health or safety hazards that your project might present, and determine how you will eliminate those hazards.
Don’t proceed before verifying whether you need a city permit; generally speaking, anything involving putting up walls, or adding square footage will require a permit. The same holds true for modifying the electrical work and plumbing.
Do define your project in as much detail as possible before beginning. This will help ensure that you have the necessary resources (time, money, materials, labour) on hand. It may also help you determine whether the project is a realistic one, once you make yourself aware of the nitty gritty involved in carrying it out. Good planning will help you to minimize the stress involved, and to enjoy your work. DIYing should be a positive experience!