Whether you’re honing your arts and crafts skills or trying to improve your home, DIY home projects are more popular than ever. This trend has increased so dramatically that even Amazon has weighed in on the fervor, offering DIY-tiny home kits that you can put together on your own time for less than $20,000 at 292 square feet.
In fact, a recent poll claims that up to 73% of homeowners believe that the amount of resources available to the average consumer makes DIY projects an easy investment. Anything from custom storage to garage makeovers has become fair game for the frugal DIY investor.
If you’re planning on a new home project, however, some safety precautions need to be heeded before you start. Here are some of the best ways to stay safe during a DIY project, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional.
“Build” your way up
Even though it’s tempting to remodel your bathroom this summer, a lack of construction experience will make this a miserable time. Reports estimate that residential construction has witnessed a 4% rise but that doesn’t mean that an amateur should start tearing down load-bearing walls.
Your best bet is to start small and then work your way up to bigger projects. After all, remodeling your basement is very different from refinishing your basement, even if the latter can give you a 77% return on investment. And this doesn’t just refer to projects in terms of size; it also encompasses the amount of work and planning the project requires from you.
This means that even helping your friend install their deck is better than nothing. Sit in on a few home construction projects before taking on that work by yourself. This will give you the experience you need to take on a range of products without screwing it up the first time (even if you’re using ample amounts of screws during the building process).
Mind your safety tools
Utilizing power tools is one of the best ways to streamline your project. Not only do these tools save you time and energy, but they’re also fun to use. For a novice DIY-er, it can become tempting to fool around with a power tool or try it out without reading the instruction manual.
This is a fatal flaw many DIY amateurs and professionals are apt to make. In fact, up to 418,000 trips to the emergency room are a direct result of improper power tool handling every year. It’s important that you know the ins and outs of any power tool before you use it.
Many of these tools rely on a number of settings and buttons to shift between functions quickly. Since you’re not a professional, you need to do your research before you again. Otherwise, you might find yourself waiting 30 minutes at your nearest urgent care for stitches.
Here are some of the best ways to avoid injury when you’re working with power tools:
- Read the instruction manual
- Wear the proper protective gear, including goggles, gloves, and earplugs
- Ensure they’re properly cleaned before and after use
- Unplug and turn off power tools when they’re not in use
- Only use power tools in good lighting
Know when a professional is needed
If you’re nervous about starting — or finishing — a DIY project, there’s no harm in asking for help. Knowing when to call in the professionals can save your home from experiencing unnecessary damage in the long
Knowing when to call in the professionals is vital depending on the project. For example, a new home addition or complicated electrical work often necessitates experience. Instead of getting electrocuted, you can better use your time making other important home decisions, like furnishing and decorating your new space. After all, a sofa can last anywhere from seven to 15 years depending on how well you take care of it. Something as simple as choosing the right shingles for your new roof could even save you up to 30% of your home’s energy needs.
In addition, some projects may be a little too dangerous for you to take on. In the construction industry, falls are the number one cause of fatal accidents. Even for the experts, some jobs can be dangerous. Take solar panels, for example. Choosing to install solar panels can be a great investment, as they can provide renewable energy for more than 30 years. However, installing these yourself can be extremely unsafe. Not only is there complex electrical work needed, but working on your roof can possible subject you to life-threatening falls. It’s important to know when the right time to call the professionals to help you in your home project.
Even if you’re not able to do it all, you can still contribute to your home’s look and feel in other ways.
Don’t start multiple projects
It’s better for everyone in your household if you only perform one project at a time. If you take on too much at once, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or leave your home in complete disarray.
Hopefully, these tips can help you become a better DIY specialist. Whether you’re working on big projects or small, follow these simple guidelines to stay safe while you save money.