Saturday, October 21, 2017

Home Style || When NOT To DIY

I'm a big fan of cracking on and getting stuck into some DIY, especially in a house with as many pitfalls as ours; but where do you even start? If done right, a touch of DIY can save money and be really satisfying, but if it goes wrong, it can go really, really wrong.

There's plenty of  DIY fails on the Internet to know that there are some things that you should really leave to the professionals. Have a look on YouTube if you want to see some great video examples of why DIY should sometimes mean 'don't do it yourself', no place more so than in the home. I've heard the horror stories, I've seen picture frames covering accidental wall holes and some things are simply far too dangerous to do without thorough knowledge or training. Fixing DIY fails may even cost you more than having the work done professionally from the off.

If you start from the outside in making sure the bare bones of the house are all in order, with damp work and anything major out the way first, you can then think about the inside. Some things you can research and learn online, the perfect DIY projects. Some things though, just shouldn't be messed with. Here's a few things to think about.

The Kitchen

Fitting a new kitchen might seem like an easy task - they do it all the time at Ikea right? Well, the Ikea guys are trained in how to do it, which is why they offer to come and assemble it for you. Not only do you have to think about making sure all your cabinets are level and function properly, you also need to think about whether they are sturdy enough to last. If you’re having something like one of those built-in fridges, or a separate hob, it just creates more possibilities for things to go wrong. It really is best to leave it to the pros especially where electrics, gas and water pipes are involved. Always get a quote for this kind of work before even thinking of going solo, you may be surprised with how reasonable fitting fees can be and it's so worth it.

The Bathroom

If you've shopped around for the perfect bathroom fittings, you want them to be fitted correctly, safely and to stand the test of time. Fitting a shower and bath can be done by us DIYers, but if you're not completely confident I'd always get a pro in for an estimate. Something like tiling is still tricky to master, but with plenty of 'how to's' out there, this is the kind of thing you can afford to experiment with, with no risk of flooding water or electric shocks. A beautiful new bathroom like the fab ones from are well worth the investment of having them fitted correctly from the off. Any leaks would be the responsibility of the fitter and it's much more likely to last a long time with the correct installation. A bit of DIY is good, but if you're lacking confidence, DIY the easier, safer options and let the pros take the lead on the big stuff.


Leading on from the bathroom, anything to do with plumbing should really be left to a professional plumber. A blocked drain might be something you can handle, but making sure the toilet is going the suck everything down rather than spews everything up might be a little out of your league, I know it is mine! It can be pretty simple to replace a tap or mend a toilet flush, but when it comes to bigger pipes, especially anything under the floor boards, it's always better to make sure it's done correctly to avoid leaks and any further damage to your home and ceilings below.


This one is the biggie, unless it's a simple switch/plug replacement and you're VERY confident with doing so, the electrics should never be messed with by anyone that isn’t a qualified electrician. The worst thing that can happen with DIY plumbing is waste ruining your floors. The worst thing when messing with electrics though could be much more serious with being electrocuted or risking a fire of some kind. Electrics just aren't worth dabbling with, they're not very forgiving and so risky in the wrong hands. When you learn more about your house, especially old ones like ours, you can start to learn a bit more about it, but initially it's always worth making the call for help.


Open plan living spaces are so popular now, like these examples; Sometimes, particularly in older houses, you tend to find a series of smaller rooms, but it is absolutely possible to open things up to make a more open living space. This is where the experts come in. You may need to add some support into the room which a builder will do, to make sure any weight supported by that wall is still safe and secure. You never know how much a wall is a supporting the house, and by knocking it down, you could be putting the structural integrity of the house on the line. You also don’t know what pipes or electrics are running through that wall. Let a pro take the wall down, they can work out how much support will be needed and most of all, ensure your living space will be safe for you and your family.

DIY projects can be so much fun, start small, watch lots of tutorials and maybe even start a short course on an area you are particularly interested in. Something like plastering for example could save you a fortune in the long run, give you a new skill as well as the satisfaction of improving your home. Anything a little more serious than the cosmetic stuff is always worth seeking the help of an expert. It's not just for safety, but also so that you know the important bits, the bare bones of the house are secure, strong and fitted perfectly. 

Do you DIY with your home?