We’ve all been there. We’ve all started a DIY project believing that not only would we be saving money, but that we’d also be getting a huge sense of achievement once it was completed. And then we’ve had to abandon it half-way through (if we’ve got that far, that is), and we’ve either left it until another day (which hasn’t yet arrived), or we’ve had to call in someone to finish it for us—and perhaps even rectify what we’ve done already. So when it comes to DIY projects, be realistic. Because in the hope of saving money, you could, in the long run, pay three-fold for a job. And let’s not even touch on those unscrupulous builders who just might exploit any desperation they sense on your part to get the job rectified and/or completed!

There are some jobs that are well within the scope of the average home-owner, however; and if you’re considering tackling one of these, then first get yourself a good DIY manual that covers all aspects of the job, including any preparation that’s going to be needed. Also make sure you know what tools you will need—and that you have them. Don’t take short cuts where tools are concerned and use a spanner if the work calls for a pair of pliers. Not only do you run the risk of ruining the job, but you could also cause yourself an injury.

Some jobs that you might want to steer clear of include anything that’s structural, e.g. removing a wall between rooms to create one room. This job is particularly hazardous if the wall is a load-bearing one, because then you risk the ceiling falling in. This is where research will pay off. However, if you have done your research and got everything in place (or are carrying out the demolition with someone who’s skilled in the task), then this is one job you might enjoy as it can be quite therapeutic. It can be physically hard work though, and might take some time. You will need a protective breathing mask and safety eyewear as it’s a very dusty job.

Never rush a job as that’s when mistakes are easily made. Make-over programs might give the impression that a complete remodeling of four rooms can be done in 48 hours but what you don’t see is everyone—including the whole production team and any willing neighbors—working on it, and not just the two dandy celebrity interior designers!

Painting is, however, one job that can be tackled with the minimum of fuss. It might take you a little longer than it would a professional but it’s easy enough to do. Read the instructions; if it says on the paint tin to apply two coats then do so, otherwise you could end up with a very amateurish-looking paint job. You should also use the appropriate brush for the job, and ensure that all surfaces are prepared accordingly before starting to paint. Again, it’s important not to cut corners and rush the job to get it finished quickly.

Work involving electricity is much less straightforward though, and there’s probably not a lot that can be tackled in this area apart from replacing socket-outlets and light switches. The majority of electrical jobs can only be carried out by a registered electrician, so bear this in mind when considering electrical home projects.