DIY tips for beginners

It’s time to makeover your house – and garden – to make the most of the summer holidays.

But if you are a new homeowner or a DIY novice, it can be overwhelming when you visit a store like Robert Dyas it can be overwhelming, especially when tackling a big or complicated job.

DIY and general home improvements and upcycling are alo essential skills to have in these cost-conscious times. Even the most basic bit of DIY can add value to your home and with budget-savvy UK enthusiasts planning on spending 20-30 per cent less on home improvements this year, this is the perfect time to brush up on those DIY skills.

Andrew Georgiou and his Robert Dyas team have compiled a list of DIY essentials – including failsafe basics and top DIY hacks to indispensable tools and professional advice – to suit all budgets.

So don’t waste time trawling through YouTube. Trust, Robert Dyas and Which? to see you through the DIY maze.

1. Plan. Plan. And then plan some more. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Think the job through. Ensure you have all the right tools to complete the task before you start any project. A lack of prior preparation is probably accountable for most DIY disasters. A whopping 48% of the 18-34 age group admit to making DIY mistakes in the past. Was a lack of planning the main cause?

2. Safety comes first. The Eyecare Trust has estimated that 30,000 eye injuries every year are a result of DIY. These can be avoided. Always ensure you wear adequate protection for your eyes and hands before taking on any DIY project.

3. When using a drill, always ensure you use the correct drill bit. The charity Electrical Safety First urges those drilling to begin by applying light, steady pressure to push the bit into the material. If you have to press hard, you’re probably using the wrong bit. If drilling into a wall always check for any pipes or wires first.

4. Between coats don’t wash the brushes and rollers just wrap them tightly in clingfilm and they will stay moist and ready for the next coat.

5. Don’t replace old radiators, freshen them up at a fraction of the cost of buying a new one with a coat of heatproof paint/radiator paint. Ensure the radiator is completely cold before starting and clean it thoroughly, removing all dust and grease. And don’t forget the dust sheets!

6. To get a straight line always use a spirit level or digital laser level. After all, no one wants that priceless wedding photo/graduation certificate/antique vase sliding off a wonky shelf.

7. If in doubt always seek help from a qualified professional. It’s estimated that professionals put right £3.3m-worth of botched DIY jobs every year.

8. Psychologists stress the pleasure and satisfaction from the results of DIY. If you want to show your partner you care for them, why not offer to improve their home…and watch the relationship blossom?

Robert Dyas’ Essential Tools Guide

Everyone needs a tool kit, and this Rolson 30-Piece Tool Kit (£17.99) is a cracking all-rounder. With everything you need to tackle your household chores, this tool kit comes complete with a handy bag and is a basic essential for any home. The tools come complete with a choice of screwdriver bits, hex keys and pliers to suit many tasks.

Next up, a screwdriver. This Draper 3.6V Screwdriver with 50 bits (£22.49) is another comprehensive winner. This is another piece of kit that takes no prisoners and will give beginners the confidence to take on any job!

The inexpensive Hilka 6-Piece Screwdriver Set (£4.99) comes with three crosshead screwdrivers and three flat head screwdrivers. Perfect for every job.

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Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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