Before you begin a Do It Yorself project - or indeed any project, even if you are employing tradesmen to do the work for you, make sure that you do your homework first.
With a little forethought, you will be able to avoid many of the potential pitfalls involved with home projects, and you will be able to carry out your project successfully.
or example, if you are planning to redecorate your lounge room you may have several objectives:
- You may want to improve the lighting by adding wall lights.
- You may want to vary the light levels to create different moods.
- Do you want to change the flooring and install new laminate flooring or real wood flooring?
- What colour scheme would you like?
- Can you afford what you want or will you need to compromise?
Do your research.
Look in magazines and note down what you find appealing.
Tear out individual pages which have 'the look' that you want to achieve.
Note down any contact details for products that you like.
Check out company web sites for suppliers and prices.
Save time and money by thinking ahead.
When checking these things out, if possible, get prices and samples of the materials you want to use e.g. of paper, paint, fabrics, work tops, flooring, etc.
Try putting them together in various combinations and think about it for a few days. Try pinning fabric samples at windows and try out wall colours by painting tester squares on the wall.
It is advisable to check these things out in all the differing lighting conditions that might prevail. Check the colours in daylight and artificial light. It can be surprising just how much this can differ. Fluorescent lighting can be different again.
Don't rush this process.
Be sure that you can live with your choices. Ask if what you want is possible to achieve and make sure you're happy with the result.
- Are the materials you propose to use going to be up to the job?
- Check that the materials are suitable for your purpose.
- If you are using wallpaper or flooring, will it stand up to the moisture in your kitchen or bathroom?
- How will your pets react to your choices? Will fabric or embossed wall coverings invite your cat to sharpen its claws on it?
- Are the wall tiles suitable for use in your kitchen? They may look terrific, but be a nightmare to clean, for example, stainless steel looks great - but it shows every splash and finger mark and is not always easy to keep clean and looking good.
When you have decided on what you want, get the opinion of friends and family. They may see something that you have missed or may even have more ideas to contribute. Make sure though, that they don't persuade you to do something that they want and you don't.
Be clear in your objectives.
If you are tackling the job yourself, make up a 'programme of works'. In other words, list each task and the order in which it needs to be done. Try and put a time estimate against each job. This will help you make sure that you have all the tools and materials that you need when you need them. Measure and estimate materials carefully, making a small allowance for any small mistakes and cutting.
Take your time and don't rush.
Once again, if you think ahead and use your common sense, you can look forward to a successful project.