The longer days of spring are here… Well, technically, the days aren’t “longer” per se… still the basic 24 hours. These days do now offer us more time of sunlight which gives us a chance to fit more into the day like a nice run outside, enjoy a nice book in the hammock in the backyard, and chores. Yes – chores. There have been some Do-It-Yourself projects filling your “to do” list during the colder months which now need your attention. Here are four questions to ask yourself so you can approach these DIY with TLC.
- Is the project the right fit for you?
We are taught that we can do anything we set our minds to, and for the most part, that’s true. But, as they say, “Nobody’s perfect.” Certain projects that initially seem like good “do it yourself” tasks are sometimes best done by professionals. A few quick questions can help you know if it’s time to call on a contractor or handyman:
- Do you have the skills/knowledge for the job? If not, are instructions easily accessible/understandable?
- Do you have the tools required for the job? If not, are you able to rent them, and how much does that cost?
- Would the project make a room or area of your house inaccessible for the amount of time it will take you to complete the job? If so, how much will that impact your day-to-day life?
If you feel prepared, capable, and equipped, then you are probably ready to proceed.
- What are you wearing?
We don’t mean right now… we mean what will you wear when you’re working on the project. The appropriate attire depends on the job, but for the most part, baggy clothing does not serve you well. It easily gets caught in machinery or will sag into paint or dirt. If a risk of fire is present, you’ll want to be take proper precautions to avoid contact with flames since most clothing is flammable. Jewelry can also be problematic as it is easily caught in tools, damaged or lost. While you don’t want to wear your “Sunday best clothes,” you’ll also want to be sure that what you are wearing doesn’t have too many holes that dangerous chemicals or other harmful elements can get through. Finally, whatever clothes you put on for the job, be sure the outfit is completed with proper safety gear such as safety glasses, earplugs, gloves, booths and/or protective mask. You may feel odd, but it will keep you protected (plus, it’ll make for a fun selfie)!
- Are you prepared for an emergency?
We hope every project you work on is completed without a hitch. But, accidents happen. Will you be prepared? Know the location of your fire extinguishers, and make sure they are up to date. Have a fully-stocked First Aid kit nearby. Also have your phone accessible to dial 911 and your emergency contact in case something happens. It’s also good to be prepared for less dire accidents; for example, if painting, have clean up materials ready in case of a can spill. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Have you done your homework?
Putting a good deal of planning into the project can help prevent revisiting the task with corrections or leaving the job undone. Taking accurate measurements and acquiring adequate materials are preparations that can lead towards successful completion. Also, investigate local guidelines and restrictions that might directly impact what you plan to do. Depending on the scale of the project, permits may be required. Also, if the work involves digging into the ground or working on the inside of a wall, check for power, gas/electric, water, and/or phone/cable lines. It’ll be dangerous and expensive to accidentally discover them mid-project.
You could possibly save yourself a good deal of money not to mention build a great amount of pride in completing a home project on your own. You’ll just want to be sure to take a well-thought-out and safe approach to have it be a job well done.