DIY is a hobby that everybody should try at least once. It’s one of those activities that comes with endless benefits. It would be especially useful for a lot of people during the pandemic who are still stuck at home all the time and struggling to find ways to occupy themselves.
When we talk about DIY, it doesn’t just mean fixing problems around your house with your own hands instead of hiring professionals, it encompasses any construction project, no matter how big or small that you tackle yourself at home.
DIY projects can range from hanging a single shelf in your bedroom that you can put your books on, to doing a full renovation of your basement and turning it into a music studio or a games room.
One of the great things about it is that everybody can participate. It doesn’t matter if you’re 9 or 90, there are some DIY projects which you can undertake and your level of fitness is irrelevant for the most part.
I mean, if you are incredibly out of shape, you will probably find some elements difficult, but that’s another benefit of DIY, it’s a kind of exercise and it keeps you active. It can help you build up focus and concentration too and you usually get some improvement in your home from it.
But like everything, home construction and DIY can be tough for those who are new to it, and frustration will sometimes get in the way of progress. Here’s a few things to keep in mind if you want to start working on some DIY Home Projects:
Have a Good Set of Tools
Tools are obviously one of the most important things for you to think about when tackling construction projects and you want to make sure that you are well kitted out before you try anything substantial.
There’s nothing worse than having a project envisioned, planned out and started before you realize that you’re missing a few tools of vital importance. You’ve got the obvious ones to think of first.
You’ll need a hammer, a screwdriver, a wrench, and a supply of screws and nails for most projects. You should also get yourself a variety of different kinds of saws. A handsaw is useful for most projects but there are others too.
Hacksaws and coping saws will also be really helpful and then you’ve got jigsaws and circular saws for more advanced projects. Tape measures and flashlights are things we don’t think much about but which come in really handy.
And then you also should look into a few different kinds of tape. Duct tape, painter’s tape and electrical tape, this can save you money because you can usually fix things instead of just buying new ones.
Even for beginner projects it’s important to cover all of your bases when it comes to tools, even if you don’t end up needing them for a specific project it’s good to have everything so you don’t end up getting stuck.
Think About Safety
DIY shouldn’t be particularly dangerous unless you’re really clumsy or really dumb, but safety is always a good thing to keep in mind when you’re trying something new. And you are working with some dangerous equipment and materials.
You can expect fumes, splintered wood, dust and of course you have nails, saw blades and other sharp tools. First and foremost, protect your eyes. Eyes can get damaged very easily and they’re too important to be careless with.
Get a good pair of safety glasses and use them whenever you are dealing with wood or metal. You’ll be using your hands a lot too so I would also suggest a thick, but functional pair of gloves to avoid scrapes and abrasions.
And then you should consider a dust mask. This will keep sawdust out of your airways and if you are dealing with something like fiberglass it is absolutely essential. We’re all used to wearing masks now anyway.
There’s also the safety of your home to think of. Don’t be sawing wood in your kitchen and lay down sheets if you’re going to paint something.
If you’ve been bitten by the DIY bug, you’re probably thinking big. You’re thinking of a full-scale renovation of a house, but let’s be realistic here, a project like that is going to be out of your wheelhouse when you’re a beginner.
You need to hone your skills first. You need to get comfortable with the tools, you need to learn how to plan out your projects and adapt if things go wrong. Construction takes practice, and it takes a lot for you to reach a stage where big projects are doable.
So at the beginning, try out some practice projects. Start by building simple things. Build a footstool, reupholster a chair, swap out a doorknob. These are projects which are quick and low-maintenance, and you also won’t do much damage if you mess them up.
Over time, you can move onto things like building a bookshelf from scratch or installing a flagstone path in your garden and eventually you can take on something big like actually remodelling your home.
You can get there for sure, but it will take some time before you’re ready and you can still have a lot of fun, rewarding experiences and exercise a lot of creativity even when you’re just starting.
Do Some Research
One big advantage that you’ve got right now which people even just 20-25 years ago didn’t have, is access to a ton of information. You’ve got all the information you could ever need as long as you’ve got internet access.
There are websites and blogs dedicated solely to DIY home projects that you can get tips and inspiration from. You can find out about what the best brands of tools are and where you can get them for a good price.
There are countless videos on YouTube with step-by-step instructions on construction techniques, how to build something specific or use a specific tool. Don’t scoff at looking for help if you need it and also don’t think of it as failure if you need guidance.
It’s something that you can get so easily and no matter what level you are at there’s going to be resources. Find some blogs and YouTubers to follow, it will enhance your hobby greatly.
There are a world of possibilities ahead of you with DIY, and for beginners it can be intimidating, but always remember that even the simplest project is still something that you did with your own hands, and it’s something for you to be proud of.