As someone who is money-savvy, you have learned that the cheapest way to get something done is to do it yourself. With videos online to show you how to do everything from laying a driveway to reupholstering a couch, you can complete more projects yourself than ever before. One major factor that can cause your DIY to fail, however, is to rush into it without careful research and planning. Here are some things to think about before you start your next project.
Take Some Time to Learn
While everyone likes to just get in there and start, patience is certainly a virtue when it comes to DIY projects. Every DIY project takes knowledge and skill, and if you don’t know how to do something, it isn’t likely to come naturally. You need to know the ins and outs of whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. Learn about the materials, watch demonstrations from experts, read step-by-step guides, and practice if possible. While you may believe that you can figure it out as you go and be tempted to skip this step, don’t! That is a great way to waste time and money, having to redo whatever you did wrong. First, take the time to learn!
Estimate Your Costs
There is nothing worse than starting on a project only to realize that it is going to cost more than you can afford. This is why it is critical to estimate costs before starting a project. The HFTB (Hope For The Best) method is not a very practical one and can lead to lost money as you start a project but are unable to finish it. Optimism is great, but when you are estimating how much a project is going to cost, you should be a realist. Think of every single item you will need to buy and price it. That is the only way you can really know if you can actually afford it.
Get the Right Equipment
It can be frustrating to have to delay the start of a project while you acquire the right equipment, but it will save you time in the long run. Having the proper tools makes a world of difference when it comes to how long it takes to finish a project. You can buy the tools you need, but for large items, it is a good idea to investigate renting them. It will be worth having the right equipment when you realize how much more efficiently you are able to perform the work.
Whether you are working with power tools or climbing on the roof, safety is what matters most. Novices are the most likely people to be injured on a job, simply because they lack the correct safety equipment or knowledge they need to do a job correctly. As you do your research, be sure to watch out for potential hazards and learn how to protect yourself. Wearing protective eyewear, gloves, and shoes is paramount. Knowing how to operate power tools correctly is critical. And using extreme caution when climbing ladders and scaling rooftops is a matter of life or death. You should also properly dispose of any debris you produce. Worksite debris poses a variety of hazards. Self-dumping hoppers increase safety by removing debris from your worksite.
Many projects will be very difficult or even unsafe to perform on your own. Think ahead to the help you will need and ask for help. Enlist neighbors, friends, or family, but be sure to ask them well in advance. They need time to plan, and it is inconsiderate to pop in on a neighbor to ask for their help right then and there. Think of any heavy lifting or two-person jobs you will need to do, and plan accordingly.
Take an Inventory of Your Needs
Before the day of your project, you will be far more efficient if you make a list of everything you will need. This includes all materials, as well as each tool. Strive to anticipate everything. It can be very frustrating to be forced to stop your work to make a store run. Once you have assessed your needs, you can take inventory of what you already have and what you will need to purchase. Do this well in advance, as some items may need to be special ordered.
Gather Your Materials
Before you begin working, grab everything you need and keep it in a convenient, centralized location. This will save you the hassle of making multiple trips around the house in search of the things you need as you work. Organizing it in a systematic way will also save time and energy. As you finish using a tool or material, put it back in its designated spot. An ordered workspace facilitates an ordered mind, and you will find that your project goes more smoothly.
Roll With the Punches
Once you have learned, planned, shopped, and gathered, it is time to get started. Your planning is sure to help your project go as well as possible, but nearly all DIY projects will face some setbacks. If you accept this as fact, then you will be able to roll with the punches when they come. If you expect perfection, you are likely to get discouraged and maybe even give up. Have a plan for how you will react when something doesn’t go as planned. This should include a willingness to try something another way, the determination to keep trying, and a healthy dose of ingenuity and resourcefulness. And this is where your optimism should shine!
Doing a project yourself is a great way to learn new skills, save money, and improve your self-esteem. It can be a real challenge, but few things are more satisfying than sticking something out and completing a difficult task. You will feel the joy of a job well done. If you follow these eight suggestions, there is little that can stop you from success. Soon, you might be the one creating the instructional videos!
Read this next: 4 Tips for Saving Money on Your Next Home Improvement
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