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May 08, 2015

Things to Remember When Taking On Do-it-Yourself Projects

Many people, most usually men, have at least attempted to show off their machismo by taking on manly tasks that would normally require a professional- like fixing the drain pipe, or building a bookshelf or patching the roof.

This is why Do it Yourself shops are always popular with the menfolk, for they provide the tools to make carpentry, plumbing and other home-fixing task look easy and economical, as it saves money.

However, most men would also be hard pressed to admit that that there is always a DIY project that resulted to a disaster of biblical proportions due to any combination of three things: 1) Lack of Preparation 2.) Lack of proper materials 3.) Lack of permit. Sometimes, it’s also lack of skill, but any self-respecting man would rather chew off his own foot than admit his ineptitude with the woodworks outright.

So gents out there who’d like to embark on this rite of manliness and impress the ladies, make sure you keep these things in mind.

1.) “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” This means that preparation is of utmost importance. You may have all the materials necessary to patch up your roof, but if you don’t have the tools to apply these materials, then you won’t get anything done. Make sure you have more than enough materials in case you make a mistake, and have to try again. On that note, do NOT settle for cheap materials. This is your home you’re talking about, and it only deserves the best.

2.) You know that house requirement called easement? Yeah, the space you absolutely need to maintain between your house and the neighbors? Yes, do not forget that- there are so many people who have went on and built balconies, or extended their roofs, only to have it cut back or torn down again because they violate the easement rule. Avoid this money-wasting mistake and check your easement requirements before embarking on a project that would increase the horizontal size of your home.

3.) If painting is your task, don’t think that choosing a paint color and paintbrush is all you need to prepare. Look at the wall that needs painting first and see what else needs to be done before you bring your paintroller on it. Does it have holes or rough edges? Does it have cobwebs, or a fine layer of dust? Clean your walls first before painting over them. Moreover, if you’re trying to paint a lighter color over a darker one, make sure you coat the wall with primer first.

4.) Speaking of paint, make sure you get the right kind of paint. There’s more to paint properties than color- texture and finish are also things to consider. Flat paint is used for ceilings while linseed-oil based paint is best for wooden surfaces.

5.) Prepare the walls for painting – clean the walls, sand them and patch any holes before you paint. Use a coat of primer or stain blocker if you’re trying to cover over oil-based paint, stains or peeling paint, or if you’re painting a lighter color over a darker color. Also, use the correct paint – use flat paint ceilings. Interior paints should have at least an eggshell or satin finish so you can scrub it. For outdoor decks, use a linseed-oil-based stain to drive the pigment into the wood and preserve it.

6.) Measure twice so you only have to cut once. This mostly applies to those who want to build things, usually shelves or tables. Too many people have made mistakes because they’ve forgotten this crucial precaution. Sure measuring twice can be a bit of a pain, but it’s better than having to redo everything.

7.) If you don’t have the proper skills to perform a specific task (e.g. electrical wiring, plumbing) then don’t force yourself to do it. Not doing something is better than doing something and failing majestically at it.

8.) Lastly, always exercise precaution. Make sure you to wear a mask and open a window while painting to avoid inhaling fumes. Make sure you wear a hard hat when working under unfinished scaffolding. Wear proper attire- nothing too loose, but nothing that restricts movement either.


With these things in mind, you’re more likely to succeed in your DIY endeavors.

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