Tips & Solutions

5 things to check before getting carried away with your next DIY project

With the rising costs of living, there has been an emergence of people willing to do a bit of DIY job around their home or their investment property. We think it’s fantastic for you to want to improve your home yourself, but there are a few things you must do before undertaking any DIY project to ensure your safety and the longevity of your home isn’t compromised.

1. Check for asbestos

Even builders know asbestos is one thing you leave to the professionals. Jaime Pratt, head of PM at VPM recommends that every renovation should be overseen by a professional who knows what to look for when it comes to asbestos. “There are simply too many variables for this to be left to chance”, she says, “You really don’t know for sure whether asbestos is present or not.”

For a small investment it’s worth having someone come onsite and check everything for you and if necessary, safely remove it. Don’t leave it to chance or a mate’s opinion.

2. Check for services

There are so many calls for emergency services as a result of DIY jobs that have gone pear-shaped. The most common cause is when people don’t check for sewer or water pipes, gas connections or electricity wires during the demolition stage or when they’re digging trenches. Not only is it highly dangerous to have no clarity of where these services are but it’s also costly to fix.

“You can obtain all the information you need about your services from your local council, or simply hire a professional to attend the site and make the necessary checks for you. Believe me, it’ll be far safer and much cheaper to pay the call-out fee than to pay to fix a stuff up!”, says Jaime.

3. Check for load bearing walls

We know it’s exciting to grab that sledgehammer and take that first swing to start demolition but you don’t want the house falling down around you. Before you start, always be certain that the walls you want to take out are not load-bearing. 

Jaime has seen it all before. “Don’t be that DIYer who’s started to take out a wall only to realise halfway through the job that it’s actually load-bearing!” she says, “We always highly recommend getting professional advice before you begin so that you’re sure it’s safe to undertake the work you want to.”

4. Check if you need a license

When you’re considering renovating or updating your home, it’s understandable that you might think some things are quick and simple to do yourself. But there are many jobs that require you to be qualified to do, like plumbing, electrical and some carpentry. 

“These tasks need to be carried out by a licensed professional to ensure not only your safety and the safety of your home, but also it’s the law!”, Jaime states. “If you’re not sure if the job you want to do requires a licensed professional, just ask.”

5. Check if you’re capable

You might be a self-proclaimed ‘pro’ at most DIY projects but we dare say, there are probably a few jobs outside your capabilities. Believe us, it’s far less expensive to outsource than it is to have a go and then pay for it to be redone, or worse still create more complex challenges for yourself because of one wrong move. 

“It can be challenging to be honest with yourself and be 100% sure a job is well within your capabilities, but it’s really in your best interests and those around you to ensure you really are capable”, Jaime advises. “If you’re somewhat unsure, why not try your skills on a smaller scale first, then decide.”

Everybody loves DIY projects and they’re a great way to save money when approached the right way. Our team has some great ideas, advice and contacts to help you ensure the job you are about to undertake is right for you and your home. Just ask.