Who Needs a Craftsman…? When You Can Do It Yourself…!
The often tedious task of finding a craftsmen and the sobering prospect of paying an expensive invoice for the smallest repair or home project regularly leads to the thought: “Can’t I just do this myself?”.
In order for the answer to be a solid “Yes I can!” one simply needs to step outside of ones comfort zone and find the self-confidence and courage to break new ground. After all there is a plethora of DIY books and advice at Home Depot, Lowes and on line.
Picture: Eric Strandberg
First of all is to do some research. Get an idea of the tools required, the materials, the average time a project is likely to take and whether you will need assistance or another pair of hands. The success of your home improvement project hinges on you ability to observe the product manufacturer’s instructions. In addition to the obvious books and online articles, YouTube is a great resource for “How To” videos. Don’t be shy in asking the advise of the sales assistance in places like Home Depot… often times these guys are retired craftsmen with a wealth of experience.
You can buy basic equipment for not much money, often in useful combination sets, but watch out for quality here. Good screwdrivers, pliers or hammers last a long time and pay for themselves quickly on new projects or repairs and are often passed down through generations. You research will flag up if you need any particular specialist tools.
It’s a good idea to start with small jobs… for example, the removal / unscrewing the cover of the ceiling light to replace the lamp (bulb). Replacing toilet seats, the replacement of a lock cylinder in the door requires only a few minutes. Work your way up to building some shelves before taking on larger tasks such as plumbing and electrical.
One of the more common places to start in home improvement is painting and decorating. Wallpapering is the next challenge. The name of the game here is preparation and cleanliness. Make sure the paint and wallpaper glue end up on the surfaces they were intended for by employing drop cloths as necessary.
Wall shelves and pictures should be dismantled, light items / furniture should be removed from the room, to make space and easy access. Finally, the preliminary windows / window frames and doors / door frames are covered or taped with masking tape.
This will require at the least:
- Trestle table
- Tape measure / ruler
- Glue brush
- Bucket (for the paste)
- Brush / rubber roller / puller (to press the wallpaper)
- Medium wide spatula with wooden handle (to remove old wallpaper )
- Knife / scissors (cutting the strips of wallpaper)
- Flat trowel and filling material (for repairing holes and cracks in walls)
- Paint (the area to be painted will dictate the amount – follow manufacturer’s instructions plus add extra as a safety margin.)
- Large and small paint rollers
- If necessary. Extension pole for paint roller (which often saves the ladder and creates a better overview)
- Wide brush with long handle (for corners)
- Bucket (for filling and refilling)
I encourage you to jump in and get started. There are great rewards and satisfaction in this work.