DIY Disaster - When you Should Not DIY it!
The Internet is overflowing with DIY ideas, crafts and projects, but not everyone should get involved in DIY - there are times when you should not DIY it!
With all the workshops I do with DIY-Divas, I often come across those who have a skill for DIY and those that don't. But with DIY on the increase, those that don't have any DIY skill should keep the following in mind before they tackle a project...
With do-it-yourself becoming a popular choice for many homeowners, South African men and women are spending plenty of time at their local Builders Warehouse or local hardware or building supply store. Research shows that there are far more women browsing the aisles at their local Builders in search of the latest power tools and gadgets, as well as materials and supplies for the DIY projects.
DIY covers a wide scope of tasks; from painting kitchen cabinets to ripping up tiles to put down laminate flooring. Being able to do these projects yourself will save you a lot of money, but you should be aware of your level of skill before you even consider doing a do-it-yourself project. For those with less than average skills, or who still cannot drive a screw straight into a piece of board, or hammer a nail into a wall, don't even consider a DIY project, as you could end up with a DIY disaster on your hands. A disaster that could cost even more to put right.
The Internet is filled with DIY projects that seem increasingly simple and do-able, and you will find videos that cover an unlimited array of DIY, home improvement and home renovation projects. That's probably one of the main reasons more people are turning to DIY to save on hiring a professional. You would assume that if you follow the steps advised, you will have a successful project. What you don't understand is that many of these videos have ended up as DIY disasters, have been illegal or have resulted in placing home and family at risk.
Let's take a look at some of the projects you should and should not consider, depending on your level of skill:
Basic Home Electrical
When we talk about basic home electrical, especially when it comes to DIY Divas, we are looking at cosmetic projects that only dealing with wiring outside the walls. This could include installing new light fittings, fitting a new light switch or power outlet, or even upgrading from a single power socket to a double power socket.
None of these cosmetic jobs falls within the scope of work that requires a Compliance Certificate. However, the person doing the job must have a thorough understanding of what is involved in order to do the job properly. Anything that involves the wiring in the wall, adding new wiring for lights and power outlets should not be considered as a DIY project, as this is when you will most definitely need to call a certified electrician, as doing the work yourself is illegal.
Basic Home Plumbing
As with any electrical work in the home, so does the same rule apply to your home plumbing. Anything outside of the walls is considered cosmetic, but as soon as you look at removing or adding pipes or water supply, you should call in a professional plumber to do the work.
It might seem like a simple job to add a drain pipe from your new shower to the main stack, but there are other considerations to factor in that you may not be aware of. And don't think for an instant that watching YouTube videos will set you on the right track. There are many videos out there that are put up purely to make money and there's no guarantee if you do it there way and it's wrong.
Plastering or Rhinolite
Many people tend to think that plastering a wall is easy... right? It actually takes a long time to train as a plasterer, and even longer to learn how to apply Rhinolite professionally. Would I do this myself, not to say I haven't tried - but no, I would hire a professional who knew what he or she was doing.
I have done a few smaller plastering projects, mostly outdoors, and where a perfect finish was not required. But plastering, and especially with Rhinolite, is an art that few manage to master and that's why it is best left to professionals. Having said that, there are many so-called professionals out there that could do with more training. So it is in your interests to contact a professional with contactable references or a good job resume.
At the End of the Day...
DIY might save you money in the short term, but that's only for a job well - and properly - done. Shoddy workmanship and lack of guarantee for your own work might work against you in the long term, so consider this before taking on any DIY tasks.