Avoid Holiday DIY DisastersBack
Christmas is a time for mince pies, spiced coffee, cider and one too many turkey sandwiches. Unfortunately, ‘tis also the season for festive DIY fails! Preparing your home for the festivities can seem an attractive task for an amateur DIYer. But, unfortunately the chances of disaster also increase. To help you out we have a few pointers on the most common festive blunders and tips on how to prevent them.
- Deck the halls destruction: There’s no better way to redecorate and make your house merry than by hanging festive wreaths, fairy lights and cards on your walls. This can seem like an innocuous task but before you take to your toolkit, make sure you check the wall first for pipes and wires. If your hammer or drill accidentally hits something it shouldn’t, bedlam can ensue. The majority of walls in new builds are hollow, which means they can conceal all manner of pipes and electric cables. You don’t want to cause damage by hammering a nail into a water pipe. Avoid flooding your house by always using a stud detector. This simple tool detects live wires and copper pipes, but be sure to do your research and invest in a good brand. If you’re unsure, ask your local hardware store to show you the right products. Wires tend to run around the ceiling and the floor, as well as around light switches and plug sockets, so avoid hammering above or near any electrical points.
- Painting pitfalls: When friends and family come to visit, you don’t want the house looking tired and lackluster and so Christmas is the perfect excuse to give the guest room or bathroom a fresh lick of paint. One of the most common faux pas made when taking on a DIY paint job is spilling paint on carpet or furniture. Mistakes can be avoided if you spend plenty of time preparing. Don’t cut corners! To ensure surfaces and furniture are safe from drips and spills, always use a dust sheet. Remember that when it comes to painting, masking tape is a handyman’s best friend. Taping over tricky areas can help to avoid mishaps with smeared paint. Before you tackle your kitchen or bathroom, consider the type of paint you are using. Using standard paint in a room rife with condensation could lead to outbreaks of mould in no time. Invest in dedicated kitchen and bathroom paint, which may cost more but will keep things looking shipshape into the New Year and beyond.
- Skew-whiff shelving: Christmas candles and decorations look great on a bookshelf but the last thing you want is festive trinkets sliding off wonky shelving. Sound familiar? Avoid skew-whiff shelves by using a spirit level to check whether your shelf is straight. Take care to ensure the shelf can carry the weight of your Christmas candle collection, especially if you have partition walls or if your wall is in poor repair. Remember to use your stud detector. If your wall is plasterboard, make sure you buy the correct wall plug. Otherwise, your shelf may come crashing down at the slightest nudge, taking chunks of wall and plaster with it, and costing you a fortune in the process.
- Finally, don’t rush: Botch jobs happen when you’re in a hurry. We would all rather be out enjoying festive pastimes but remember that a hasty project is destined for disaster. You certainly don’t want to be rushing about when there's rollers and paint cans around. The only way to stay sane and get it right when doing DIY is to leave yourself plenty of time. But you can make it fun. Put some Christmas tunes on in the background, and most importantly, make sure you take regular breaks for pies and hot chocolate.
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