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Help me become a DIY Queen.

(22 Posts)
ThatsMyOnlyShirt Wed 26-Mar-14 09:48:03

Have lived in our 1930's ex- council terrace for 18months. Have a DD who is 9 months old. House in generally good condition but I want to maintain it.

OH is not DIY inclined & I am at home 75% of the time. I really want to become good at DIY but I have perfectionist tendencies and get too scared to start.

Ladies (& Gentlemen) who DIY, did you just dive in? And what happens when it goes wrong?

Lagoonablue Wed 26-Mar-14 14:56:28

I don't DIy as am rubbish and have no patience. I think patience and preparation are key. What DIY do you want to do?

stuckindamiddle Wed 26-Mar-14 15:17:05

Yes, I agree, preparation is vital.
What's on your list of jobs?
I've done bits and pieces over the years, mainly pre-DC though.
A great book is '100 Things You Don't Need a Man For' by Alison Jenkins.

ThatsMyOnlyShirt Wed 26-Mar-14 16:10:06

Nothing major just stuff like laminate floor edging or hanging a towel rail.

Will check out the book, Thanks.

elfycat Wed 26-Mar-14 16:22:49

Be prepared to read instructions and think things through (have a cup of tea) before starting.

Google is your friend for 'how to' questions.

You cannot over prepare a surface/job but you can do tedious jobs in bite sized pieces.

You'll need a set of tools. A good drill with screwdriver setting is essential to me. I prefer the buy something decent and take care of it approach, but others favour a buy cheap and don't worry. Either is fine or some and some.

shoom Wed 26-Mar-14 17:12:15

Me too!

I'd like to become competent in DIY and I'd also like to have an awareness of things to check or look out for. Some sort of homeowner's 101 course would be ideal. [course]

Mum2Fergus Wed 26-Mar-14 18:32:14

I use YouTube for tutorials...

ThatsMyOnlyShirt Wed 26-Mar-14 19:40:18

You Tube, what a great idea!

Also I found the book for 1p + postage so have bought it!

stuckindamiddle Wed 26-Mar-14 20:16:34

Bargain! Hope you find it helpful smile

DIYapprentice Thu 27-Mar-14 18:31:47

You need to remember that you will likely spend more time on preparation than on doing the job. That is where most mistakes are made, and if the preparation is p, the finish is crap.

I have slight perfectionist tendencies, and you do have to let them go a bit. But DH is far too lax for me to let him lose. I still glare at the bathroom wall which he painted and offends me! grin

Buy a good DIY book, and then google every job you want to do.

Make a list of jobs, but don't get bogged down in details until you are about to tackle that area because it will make you disheartened when faced with a list pages long.

So 'Entrance' can be one item on your big list.

When you come to do the entrance you then break it down.

- Door - repaint or replace? rehang if needed (does the hinge need to repositioned?, new door handles?, strip paint if too thick, sand to smooth down, fill any cracks, undercoat, 2 x coats)

- Door frame, check that its stable, if not nail into the wall, use gap filler around the edges if needed (fill any chips/dents, sand, undercoat 2 x coats,

- walls (filler, sand, 2 x coats)

- ceiling (filler, sand, 2 x coats)

- skirtings check that its stable, if not nail into the wall, use gap filler around the edges if needed (filler, sand, undercoat 2 x coats)

- Decoration - New lights? Do the light switches, power sockets need replacing?

Then identify the tools you need - the wrong tools will make a job that much more difficult.

Then tick them off as you do them.

And enjoy! DIY can actually be fun. I had a plumbing emergency which destroyed the bathroom floor and I had to take the shower unit out to find where the water was coming from. I actually had a lot of fun using the jigsaw to cut the wooden flooring out! It's pretty cool using power tools. wink

ThatsMyOnlyShirt Fri 28-Mar-14 08:10:02

Thanks for the reply DIY. DH was let loose in our bathroom as well, hence why I want to take over! grin

WetAugust Fri 28-Mar-14 12:00:03

B&Q run tutorials in some of their stores. In our area they do decking, decorating and other jobs.

Plaaning is important but so is sequencing i.e. the order in which you tackle jobs, So if you were painting a room, paint the ceilings, then the walls, cutting in at ceiling level and then gloss as the final paint task (that's my preferred sequence).

For laminate floor edging you will need to be able to cut internal and externa; mitres so you'll need a mitre board.
Much better to get a crowbar and lever off the old skirting boards. The new skirting boards will also need mitres but if you get them a bit wrong you can compensate with fillers before painting them so the 'fault' is not visible. New skirting gives a much nicer finish than the edging strips.

Vintagebeads Fri 28-Mar-14 12:16:20

I taught myself basics like hanging a curtain pole and using a drill from youtube.
Start small and build up i fot such a thrill hanging my blinds grin sad bu true!

ThatsMyOnlyShirt Sat 29-Mar-14 17:09:52

I really want to learn to use the drill but I am terrified of it going wrong!

WetAugust Sat 29-Mar-14 19:17:19

Going wrong in what way? Are you worried about drilling into a hidden cable or pipe?

MummytoMog Sat 29-Mar-14 19:52:01

The readers digest guide to DIY is awesome - I learned most of my mad DIY skillz from there. The Internet often helps me out though, especially today when the damn metal drill bit got stuck in the drill and then the chuck got stuck open.

Anyway, today I drilled tap holes and plumbed in the sink. It's just a question of going slowly and step by step and being prepared to unscrew and start again if something isn't quite right.

Vintagebeads Sat 29-Mar-14 21:49:29

You can get a thing to against the wall that tells you if there are wires.
Getting the right drill bit and screw was harder.
I am in a new build so wires tend to be in standard places .

ThatsMyOnlyShirt Sat 29-Mar-14 22:23:22

@WetAugust I guess I'm worried that I will drill a massive hole in the wall or something.

@MummytoMog That is awesome! Well Done!

Since I started this thread I've realised that I not only want to get stuff done round the house but I want DD to grow up seeing me do it as well. My brother & dad are quite handy with the DIY but I don't want to rely on them (mostly because if takes them forever to come round!)

WetAugust Sat 29-Mar-14 23:06:45

^@WetAugust I guess I'm worried that I will drill a massive hole in the wall or something. *

You can only drill a massive hole if you use a massive bit or if your walls are so unsound that they crumble when you attempt to drill into them.

Anyway, that's what Polyfilla, decorators caulk and finishing plaster are for, filling in holes in walls. It's not a big problem.

sandgrown Sat 29-Mar-14 23:13:39

Went on a B&Q decorating course when they were on offer . It was basic and only half a day but great fun. They do lots of courses and some for children as well. Sarah Beeny has a new DIY book out .

Thistledew Sat 29-Mar-14 23:28:24

I second the advice about a DIY manual and YouTube clips. I have the B&Q book and have found the Readers Digest one robe helpful as well.

Remember, DIY and decorating really isn't rocket science. It will take you longer to do most tasks than it would take a professional, bit there is no reason that you cannot do the vast majority of tasks.

My top tips are to invest in a good range of decent tools. It makes the jobs so much easier if you have the tool to do it.

Always remember to measure twice and cut once. It will save you many expensive mistakes. Planing things out on graph paper usually helps.

Do read up on the safety advice when using power tools, and always check what you are drilling into- use a stud/metal work finder.

I do find it uncomfortable to use power tools for long periods of time due to the noise, so I wear some decent ear defenders.

Just go for it! I got into DIY from necessity but discovered I really like it and have a knack for it. DH is quite practical but isn't so much into the creative side of things and just doesn't enjoy making things as much so I am the main DIYer in our household.

WetAugust Sun 30-Mar-14 00:06:20

... and googles too, when you're using pwer tools or creating dust and debris. Sometimes a face mask too.

Thistledew is right - it's just good planning, preparation and practise. And being courageous. I watched the plumber drilling into my new bathroom tiles with bated breath - but it was fine. I wouldn't have been brave enough to do that!

I'm the main DIY-er too. They just bring me cups of tea occasionally!

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