1. Get the right tools.
Having the correct tools for the job can make all the difference and will really show in the finished quality of your work. Unless you are specialising in a trade such as electrics, plumbing, or carpentry, there is no need to go overboard with the spending. However, if you are a keen DIYer or looking to renovate your home, avoid the cheapest of the cheap. The initial outlay may be less but it will end up costing you more in both time & money in the long run if you have poor quality tools.
Our Advice - Stick to big brand names; Makita, Stanley, DeWalt. Buy from trusted retailers such as Screwfix, Toolstation, B&Q. Although bargains can sometimes be found, the “too good to be true” deals you find on Gumtree for second hand tools are likely to be exactly that. There’s a high chance they’ll be either stolen or faulty/on their last legs, so pay the extra and stick to big retailers.
Our DIY deal of the week – This double DeWalt drill set, along with the handy drill bag from Screwfix is enough to get you through any home DIY project at the great price of just £139.99.
2. Use online videos to help.
There’s no shame in doing most of your learning from “how – to” videos, theres a reason youtube is full of them! In fact, it’s probably the most cost effective method of learning out there, the only thing you’re paying in, is time.
You can find out how to do pretty much anything these days from youtube. How to build a stud wall. The best ways to paint a room. How to plaster. How to render. How to change a light switch. How to change a socket for one of our USB sockets. The list is endless…You could break down a kitchen renovation into different steps and find out how to do everything from the plumbing to installing the kitchen cabinets and wiring the sockets.
Top Youtuber for DIYers – Andy Willcox Electrical was voted Screwfix’s Top Tradesperson and from his channel you can see why. As well as being a talented electrician, he creates some great “How to” content, allowing homeowners to do their own work, saving them money on call out fees. He is also the face of our “How to change a socket” video walkthrough for anyone who purchases a USB socket kit from our store.
3. Undertake an Introduction trades course
If you wish to tackle something more specialised and the youtube videos just aren’t cutting it for you, you can get hands on (once corona virus has passed) in a workshop with some of the top tradespeople teaching you.
You can find introduction courses for all trades which typically last 5 days and cost around the £400 mark. Whilst this may seem like a big initial outlay, it could save you huge money in the long run (£400 for an electric intro course pays for itself in 2 days of not having an electrician round!).
Our top picks - Able Skills in Dartford is where I have undertaken a course and confirm the guys there are great. Very helpful and knowledgeable teachers that really want to get the best out of you.
There is also Access Training over in Edenbridge which offer very similar courses and tend to have more availability.
4. Use social media as a tool.
With the likes of Instragram and Etsy, you have a tsunami of DIY ideas at your fingertips, from interior design, to garden landscaping, home electrics, craft ideas and everything in between. It’s a great place to get inspiration and to also ask questions and get opinions, the online community are more than happy to help and everyone is very welcoming to a new DIYer.
Our tips – Stay tuned for our list of the Top 5 DIY channels to follow. In the meantime, have a look at these awesome isntagram feeds;
5. Most importantly of all; Have a definite plan.
Achievement always starts with a definite plan, all the way through to the end. Yes of course somethings will change a long the way and you have to adapt that plan to succeed, but rather than just tell yourself you’re going to do a bit of this here and that there, ask yourself;
What’s the end goal here? What exactly needs to be done, in which order to achieve that goal? What materials and tools do I need to see the project through? Will I be able to do it myself or am I going to need some help.
Break it down into bitesized chunks and definitely put it all down on paper so you can refer to it as you’re going a long. Not only will it give the project structure, your brain will thank you for it each time you complete one of those “bitesized chunks” in the form of a dopamine hit. Basically free drugs!
If you’re thinking of a bathroom renovation, you need to break it down into it’s different parts; Plumbing, electrics, flooring, tiling, painting. The best way is to write it all out on a big timeline.
You know you’re working towards a bigger goal but if you break it down into lots of smaller goals on the way there, you’ll be content and proud of yourself throughout, rather than spending the whole project just wondering if you’ll ever make it to that one goal you’ve set yourself that’s just a mere light at the end of the tunnel.
I hope this has brought something to you and hopefully given you the motivation and confidence to take your first steps into the DIY world! I’m sure your journey will be one you won’t ever forget and feel free to share with us any of your ideas of completed renovation projects!