When vacation days come around we’re often guilty of trying to pack too much in. We vow to use the time well to complete a few jobs around the house and things get started but great weather or fun opportunities distract us and before you know it, you’ve got several half done DIY jobs making things look even more messy. According to a recent UK survey by Which? Abandoned DIY jobs are a lucrative sector for traders, who are called upon at the last moment to take over and complete the job. Of the traders surveyed, 55% said they’d been called on to finish off a plumbing job and 32% made sure an electrical job was complete. So while homeowners may initially have enthusiasm for saving money and gaining the satisfaction of DIY they’re not always following through.
Still, they’re getting further than the 82% of Brits who according to research by FirstPort delay essential DIY tasks for an average of 26 days and by calling in the experts, they’re sailing ahead of those who put off doing DIY jobs for 3 months whole months. Wow! That’s some serious procrastination. Let’s take at a look at why we put jobs around the house on the ‘do later’ pile and how we can commit to getting them done.
Lack of time
It’s perhaps no surprise that for many people, lack of time is cited over and over again as the barrier that stops homeowners getting to grips with repairs and other jobs in the home. Nearly a third of those surveyed by FirstPort said they had put off tasks because they were too busy. Sometimes, it’s really not possible to fit everything in and there’s no shame in calling in the experts and paying them to do things for you. However, there are also plenty of reasons to make time to do things when you can. If you’re on a tight budget, love learning new skills or know you’ll be hugely satisfied with yourself if you manage to get the job done, it’s time to take a serious look at your schedule. For busy parents, sometimes evenings are the only time DIY jobs can be slotted in, and that’s not always easy or practical if the DIY job in question is a noisy one.
Lack of tools
How many jobs have you started only to realise that you haven’t quite got the tools for the job? While lots of little DIY jobs require nothing more than common sense and the standard bits and bobs in a household toolbox, there are projects were more specialist bits of kit are essential or could really speed things up for you. For example, when tiling a large area an electric tile cutter can help you to make shorter work of things. And if you’re working outside or in the garden, diesel generators can save on trips back into the house too. Let’s not forget that not having the correct tools can lead to a substandard finish or dangerous results. The Which? Survey found that one in five professionals had been called in to fix a dangerous situation created by a DIY enthusiast not doing things properly. If you need specialist equipment don’t be tempted to make do – buy, borrow or hire. Of course, knowing how to use DIY kit is another fundamental that can let you down.
Lack of skills
Sometimes, we put off doing jobs around the house for a very good reason – like we’re not competent enough to do them safely. A quarter of respondents in the FirstPort survey said they were not confident about what they were doing and nearly one in ten said they were worried about getting hurt in the process. Since most accidents take place in the home, it’s very wise not to take a gung-ho attitude to DIY and personal safety. For jobs where a little confidence and practice is all that’s needed, evening courses at local community colleges and video guides on YouTube can prove invaluable. If you need to clear your own guttering, paper a wall or install electrical appliances that don’t need gas, self learning should have you covered. However, when things get more complicated and gas is involved, it’s always best to call in the experts. So, if you’re boiler is making funny noises or you need to install a new gas cooker, the safest bet is to call a registered professional.
If you’re guilty of putting jobs off for too long because of the cost or time required to put things right, remember, things could get worse and the value of your home could take a knock. Experts recommend that you spend at least one per cent of your home’s value on maintenance and decorating every year. Are you giving your home enough TLC?