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Know your limit, DIY within it

Thanks to sites like YouTube and Pinterest, we now have access to an abundance of DIY inspiration and how-to information that makes it look so “easy”, but before you decide to rev your cordless drill for a weekend furniture refresh or a DIY kitchen revamp, you have to first determine whether you can tackle the work yourself or if you should call in the pros using eieihome directory of service pros.

Start by assessing the following:

  • Your current knowledge and experience with that type of project
  • The overall level of difficulty (on a scale of 1 to 10)
  • Whether a licensed trade professional is legally required to do the work (insurance and liability issues can occur if a licensed and insured professional is not contracted for certain tasks)

Even if you plan to do the work yourself, a professional consultation from a contractor or a home inspection can provide insight into the project, help you foresee issues and obstacles or disclose whether permits and inspections are required to complete the work. Even for seemingly simple tasks like painting, sometimes there’s more work than meets the eye.

So, now that I’ve scared you away from your drill revving, here are some helpful tips to ensure future DIY success…

Consider your investment of time AND money

Regardless of how big or small a project is, most DIY-er’s don’t create realistic timelines and budgets to complete the work.  Before you begin a project, write out all of the necessary steps, make a list of materials/cost associated with each step, and apply an estimate of time to each phase of the project.  You often hear that you should add 10-20% for material overages, but I also add 10-20% more time to a project to account for bumps along the way and don’t forget to account for things like drying time for paint. There’s nothing worse than a project taking longer or costing more than you expected and then leaving it incomplete.

Kitchen counter diy that gives a new finish

Kits are now available that can transform everything from dated laminate countertops and cabinets, to furniture and even ceramic or porcelain tiles in a few easy steps.

Have the proper tools on-hand

One of the main factors to ensuring a quality end result is using the proper tools.  There is a big difference between a piece of wood cut with a mitre box and hand saw vs. using a compound double-bevel mitre saw.  Many places rent tools to domestic “weekend warriors”, but for longer renovation projects, investing in your own quality hand and power tools can actually save a lot time and can minimize material damage saving you money (and frustration). If space for tool storage is an issue, Black + Decker has created an ingenious rechargeable Matrix collection that is essentially an entire workshop in a small tool box.  With the quick connect system, your drill can instantly convert into a sander, jig saw, circular saw, or impact driver to name a few.

Don’t skip the prep work

The anticipation of refreshing kitchen cabinets with a new coat of paint can make it tempting to skimp on the ever important steps of sanding and priming.  Prep work is 90% of the DIY battle, and using high quality primers by Zinsser to ensure optimal paint adhesion will ensure that the end results will be successful and lasting.  It’s also worth researching new product innovations.  Rust-Oleum’s “Transformations” collection offers kits designed to successfully transform everything from dated laminate countertops and cabinets, to furniture and even ceramic or porcelain tiles in only a few easy steps.

Kitchen cabinet diy preparation

The anticipation of refreshing kitchen cabinets with a new coat of paint can make it tempting to skimp on the ever important steps of sanding and priming but prep work is 90 per cent of the DIY battle.

My best advice before tackling your next DIY project is to do some research, ask a pro, and then determine if you’re best suited to complete it.  If you’re looking for design and renovation info under one roof, the upcoming Fall Home Show at The Better Living Centre running September 18-21 is the  perfect place to comparison shop and check-out the latest décor and reno products on the market.  While you’re there, don’t miss the Upcycle Challenge in support of Habitat For Humanity with creative DIY makeover projects executed by some of Toronto’s best and brightest design and do-it-yourself pros in the industry.

We’ve given you the knowledge and know how now you need to find the right professional for the job? Some projects can use the help of an interior design expert and eieihome makes it easy to find the right pro for the job through our interior design directory.



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