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What renovation jobs can you do yourself? Tiling, wallpapering, plaster boarding, removing art ex, carpentry?

(21 Posts)
NotMostPeople Sun 28-Apr-13 22:05:13

We're buying a doer upper with a minuscule budget. Most of what needs to be done is cosmetic and I've decorated many times so I'm not phased by that. However I'm wondering if I should attempt to do some of the more adventurous jobs like tiling etc or if its really should be left to the professionals? Last time we did a big renovation I was pregnant so couldn't really do much but my dc's are all at school so I have much more time now.

Has anyone successfully done any of these jobs themselves?

CabbageLeaves Sun 28-Apr-13 22:09:36

I can tile. 3 bathrooms and two kitchens under my belt. Built interior to my wardrobe (carpentry). Shoe shelves and other shelving + hanging rails.

Minor electrics, usually like for like and lighting, sockets and replacement switches. Couple of spurs. Not keen on that though

Hate plumbing

Stud walls...two.

Plastering ...minor stuff for repair rather than large areas.

Wallpapering ..quite a lot.

Tizwozliz Sun 28-Apr-13 22:17:11

We did as much as possible ourselves including plumbing, plastering, tiling, painting, new ceilings, non-notifiable electrical work.

I really enjoy plastering, hated laying floor tiles. Still pleased with the results, and the money saved!

NotMostPeople Sun 28-Apr-13 22:49:09

How did you both learn to do these jobs? Books? You tube? Something else?

CabbageLeaves Sun 28-Apr-13 22:54:01

I started with this Then just looking at products in DIY stores and giving anything a go really.

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 28-Apr-13 22:54:18

I can do - and love - tiling and plastering. They appeal to my perfectionist side, and I find doing them (if I have adequate time), very restful.

I am also quite good at joinery, and upholstery. I'd like to get better at (minor) plumbing, and I can only do very minor electrical work.

Tiling I learn with my uncle (enthusiastic amateur). Plastering I did a day course at the local college. I did longer courses for joinery and upholstery.

Tizwozliz Sun 28-Apr-13 22:58:37

Internet was the main source of info, DIY forums for advice, we watched some youtube vids, how to's etc.

The plastering was something we thought we'd give a go, if it worked we'd save a lot, if it didn't all we'd lost was the cost of a bit of plaster

CabbageLeaves Sun 28-Apr-13 23:02:03

Hazel has reminded me I upholstered some chairs years ago.

I think DIY can be like an arty hobby. It's very therapeutic at times

LunaticFringe Sun 28-Apr-13 23:03:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 28-Apr-13 23:04:23

Lunatic, where did you learn your electrics?

NotMostPeople Sun 28-Apr-13 23:04:39

Ooh you've got me going now, I didn't even consider plastering and we've got a lot of artex to cover. When we've had walls plastered before I have always been amazed at how good it look when it's finished, can you really do it yourself? Aren't there different type of plaster etc that you have to learn about. I also have a perfectionist side, which is why I think I might be quite good at some of these jobs.

DH is more slapdash then me and he works very long hours anyway so it'll be me doing a lot of the work. I'm getting very excited now.

barefoot Sun 28-Apr-13 23:17:36

OMG I lost the will to live when plastering after a re-wire in my house - it was sooo hard and I ended up sanding it, but I did demolish a chimney breast, help lay a floor and put the kitchen carcasses in, dig a trench in the garden, make shelves in the airing cupd, do loads of stuff to the skip, project manage, lining paper all rooms, decorate and dig the landscaping in the garden, all of which saved me loads of money...

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 28-Apr-13 23:19:56

Ooh, I love a well-plastered wall!

Types of plaster? Er, there's lime render, which is relevant for period properties, and IS hard to work with and would necessitate a course. I don't do this!

Then you could split 'modern' plaster by exterior and interior. I've only done trad indoor, using gypsum-based plaster (there are also cement-based mixes, and cement bases can also be used outside, whereas gypsum cannot). You could also split it by 'wet' plaster vs. plasterboard. I can do both, but MUCH prefer the finish of wet plaster.

I genuinely enjoy it; it's like icing a cake, writ large. And I have been known to DEMAND that people admire and stroke my finished walls.

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 28-Apr-13 23:21:05

Ooh, barefoot. Did you have a visual project plan? I so love a nice plan.

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Sun 28-Apr-13 23:25:03


I'm enthusiastic but inexperienced

After years of renting I'm dying to make this house beautiful. First I want to lay a path. Googling is great. What did people do before it? And YouTube for instruction and Pinterest for inspiration.

barefoot Sun 28-Apr-13 23:41:52

Wow hazel you sound amazing!! I was SOBBING at the end of the very long two weeks the patching took - the builder I'd used had to come and give me some advice, and he was really trying not to laugh - I was so dispirited. I did sand the finish in the end and it worked fine, and none of it fell off...I'd recommend a course - I'd just looked at Youtube, mind you I was a painter and decorator for ages and had cockily assumed I'd know how. So wrong. yes as for a project plan - definitely not! Anything I tried to commit to paper never got used. I was a PM before my daughter was born 6 yrs ago, so I was confident enough that I knew what I was doing. I gave verbal instructions for the quotes, got tradesmen to write very detailed quotes and kept a very important notebook, with a to-do list as long as my arm. My only mistake was employing the useless but very cute electricians! Ween spirits, I am laying a path at the mo - sort of busking it a bit!

barefoot Sun 28-Apr-13 23:44:31

btw I haven't been on MN for years - I am remembering why it was so addictive! Night all x

BackforGood Sun 28-Apr-13 23:47:18

I think plastering is something probably best left to the professionals - we have some FAB DIY people now who will tackle most things, but they call in a platerer if that's what's needed.
In terms of what you can do yourself - lots of stuff, when I was totally skint, but now I'm older and more comfortably off, I prefer the higher quality work that my DIY people do. However, when I bought my first flat, it was a case of do it myself or it wouldn't get done, so I leared as I went along. Had a fantastic DIY manual from Readers digest, which broke everything down into steps for you. This was before the internet - there's bound to be 'teach yourself' clips all over the internet now though.
Good luck! smile

LunaticFringe Mon 29-Apr-13 03:31:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

barefoot Mon 29-Apr-13 10:20:32

yes, I got a tiler in at massive expense to do my shower-bath, and although I COULD have done the tiling - all around and up to the ceiling, it would have been a rubbish job, and the tiler did it beautifully. I did do some small tiling jobs and I really recommend buying one of those electric tile saws - with a water tank and a bed - makes it miles easier and they don't cost that much.

Btw I saved quite a lot of money by buying materials myself - it's a hassle, but you can shop around on your own time and you know that the tradesman isn't buying rubbish and charging you too much, it also left them freer to work during the day if I was driving around picking up stuff - they so didn't love me!! ; )) But I'd come back with bags of chips and buns...

NotMostPeople Mon 29-Apr-13 14:10:57

Barefoot - do you mind me asking what you paid your tiler. We don't have the budget to do the bathroom so thought we'd just put up with it, but on Thursday we went to see it and it really is revolting. We're going to have to find a way, but that means that it's got to be done on a shoestring.

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