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DIY or call out?

Undertake simple paint jobs and you can save yourself some cash.

There are certain things that a seasoned DIY-er can take on, potentially saving themselves thousands in call out charges. But take on a job beyond your abilities and it really could cost you dearly – contractors don’t charge those expensive fees for nothing after all. So what are those ‘little’ DIY jobs you should always get professional help with and what can you tackle yourself?

DIY   Painting and decorating: Hiring a professional to do a paint job on your home is the ultimate luxury. The tools are inexpensive and there’s little real skill involved, especially if you don’t involve wallpaper hanging. Pick up the best quality paint, brushes and rollers you can afford, prepare surfaces well with sugar soap, warm water, polyfiller and sandpaper and you can have a brand spanking new dining room by this evening.

Flatpack: It would be unbelievable to most of our dads that you can now hire someone to construct your flatpack furniture but it’s absolutely true and the trade is booming. Read instructions carefully and take your time and you’ll find that there’s really no need to panic at all those unlabelled pieces. Better still chaps, according to recent research by Ikea women are better at flatpack construction than men so get the ladies in your life involved.

Demolition: If you’re not afraid of getting a little bit on the dusty side there’s no harm to taking on demolition work yourself provided you take the right precautions. Knocking down walls, ripping out old bathroom fittings or removing doors in preparation for building work can save time and money.  Call out   Electrics: Never attempt major electrical work yourself as the consequences of a mistake made can obviously be extremely serious. Rewiring a room, fitting new lighting fixtures and fitting fuse boards should all be undertaken by a qualified electrician to meet the very high standards required by law.

High work: While simple jobs such as replacing a slipped tile or fixing a broken gutter might be undertaken by an individual with a good ladder and someone to hold it for them major repairs or work on a very high or severely pitched roof should always be a job for the professionals. If a job needs scaffolding it probably needs an experienced builder to do it.

Gas plumbing: Many plumbing jobs, from fitting a new radiator to replacing bathroom pipes can be done by a competent DIYer, however gas plumbing is a whole different ball game. Never consider fitting or repairing a boiler or gas fire yourself and always ensure that you use a Corgi registered plumber.

Big equipment jobs: If your job is going to involve hiring a digger or buying a floor sander you might just save yourself some time by paying the little extra it costs to hire someone who already has the tools. While tiling a bathroom will take a professional a day it could take an inexperienced tiler a week, cost a pretty penny in tile cutting tools and the result won’t be as neat.

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