Whether your DIY project is big or small in scope, it can feel pretty daunting to finally get it off the ground. You’ve been putting it off and demurring for weeks, but now it’s finally time to pick up your tools and get to work. What do you need before you take this step? What should you have in place before you finally commit to getting started on your project? We’re here to help you with just that. Here are 10 things you’re going to need before you begin work on your DIY project, whatever form that may take.
You won’t get very far into your DIY project without motivation. You can try to convince yourself that you’re going to finish it this time, but unless you’re really galvanised to get started in earnest, that’s not likely to happen. Psych yourself up before you begin. Get friends and family around you to help keep you on the straight and narrow if you find yourself flagging. It’s important to keep your morale high during your DIY project, because there’s nothing worse than leaving it half-finished.
It’s a sad fact that every DIY project you undertake is going to cost you something. That cost may be small if the scope of your project is limited, but if it’s major – a house extension, for example, or a room renovation – then you’re going to need some serious funding. Now might be a good time to dip into your savings. Alternatively, if you have good credit and know you can commit to a regular repayment schedule, you might consider taking out an unsecured personal loan to help you pay for your project.
3. Planning permission
Again, depending on how large-scale your DIY project is, you may need to obtain special permission from your government or council in order to begin work. Only you can know whether or not you need to seek this out based on the parameters of what you’re trying to achieve, so make sure you look up this information before getting started. If you begin without the relevant permissions, you could be in for a world of potential legal trouble.
4. A detailed plan
However big or small your project happens to be, it’s still important to create a plan of what you’re going to do. Even if you’re just erecting some shelves or putting together a table, you should have an idea of how you’re going to achieve it, because if you go in without a plan, you could quickly find yourself derailed. This is even more important when it comes to larger-scale projects; without a plan, you’re going to be scuppered very quickly if your project has multiple stages.
It’s important to make sure you’ve got everything you need before you embark on your DIY project. Again, only you can know exactly what this will entail; you might only need a hammer and nails, for example, or you might need large quantities of wood and metal or any number of materials in between. Some DIY materials are always good to have on hand, because they’re common between many different types of project. Try to keep a store of these materials so you’re prepared for any eventuality.
Whoever you happen to have around you – whether it’s a large family or just a couple of friends you can call in – you should try to enlist their support if possible. Any DIY project is far less painful when undertaken alongside other people. Even if your friends and family are just providing moral support, that’s still an important aspect of the project, and can help to keep your spirits high when things are looking insurmountable. You shouldn’t have to do any DIY alone!
7. Professional help
Sometimes, a project is just too big for your hands alone. This is especially true when it comes to things like large-scale building works, rewiring electrics, or gas main works. For these projects, it’s definitely a good idea to call in a qualified professional who will be able to handle the work for you. Make sure to look for the best possible deal for you; don’t haggle, because that could make the professional feel their work is undervalued, but do shop around first.
8. A contingency plan
If everything does go pear-shaped, it’s good to have a backup plan just in case. If possible, you should have a way to revert the work you’ve done so that the project is back at the beginning; that way, you can undo anything that went wrong and start again in earnest. This won’t always be possible, though, and if it isn’t, just make sure that you have an alternative in mind, whatever form that may take. There’s nothing worse than doing irreparable damage during a DIY session.
9. Safety measures
Goggles, gloves, scaffolding, or any number of other safety measures are imperative on a DIY job. Even if it’s a small-scale project – putting together furniture, for example, or taking apart some shelving – it’s still a good idea to have goggles and gloves so that you don’t give yourself splinters, or so that sawdust from the wood doesn’t get into your eyes. You can never be too safe on a DIY project, so make sure you’ve taken ample safety precautions before you begin.
10. Realistic ideas
Ask yourself this question before you start: “is this really within my remit?” Some projects are not only too big to be taken on by yourself, they’re too big to be taken on full stop, and you need to scale them back. Question friends, family, and colleagues about whether they think a DIY project is doable. Be realistic with yourself; don’t get overly optimistic and start believing that you can do it just because you want to. Creating the plan we recommended earlier will help immeasurably with this step.