We all watch the home improvement shows on the TV, in fact as a nation we appear to be slightly obsessed with making-over our homes. But have you ever tried to follow some of the advice given and discovered that it just doesn't work out the way it does on the telly. Or conversely have you heard disaster stories and actually found that things are much simpler than you could ever have guessed.
Read on for some examples of common DIY myths which are less true than TV and the papers would like to admit.
Rogue builders are rife
From the number of programs on the TV which follow the antics of builders gone bad, you would be forgiven for thinking that there is not one good guy out there. It has certainly led to a culture of fear when it comes to employing a tradesman.
In fact there are many thousands of great men and women out there who are doing a wonderful job, staying within the budget set, finishing on time and just being nice. Those who come across the other sort are in the minority.
A kitchen or bathroom can be fitted in a week
Larger DIY stores and showrooms will try to tell you that your kitchen or bathroom will be up and running again within the week. Don't believe them.
The problem is that these companies tend to use multiple tradesmen to complete the job. So you will have a plumber, a tiler, an electrician and the fitter all jostling for space and fitting you into their schedule. If you think this is miraculously going to happen seamlessly you have another thing coming.
The answer to this is to employ one person who does everything and accept it might take a little longer.
Wallpaper is the new paint
If we followed this advice our homes would be covered wall to wall in designer prints. In fact paint will never be replaced and we should never revert to wallpaper. A feature wall in an interesting wallpaper is fine, but if you want something which is practical, easy to change and touch up and something which will never date – you cannot go past a lick of paint.
Power tools are hard to use
If you think that you need a good strong man to put up your shelves or to bolster off your old tiles, you are underestimating yourself. Power tools these days come in a range of sizes and strengths and there are even ranges designed for women. With a little practise anyone can learn to use most power tools and it can even be fun trying.
The cheapest quote is the best quote
Never fall for the old cheap quote trick. There is always a catch and usually it means extra will be added to your bill half way through the job. If your builder is offering to do the work at significantly less than the next guy, then they are desperate for the work. Ask yourself why and accept the next guys quote. Chances are you will get your money's worth.
Old homes can be made new
Restoration programs on the TV make it seem as though any home can become a modern haven given enough money and time. This is not often the case. Your older style home will always have uneven walls, ongoing maintenance issues, and dodgy plumbing unless you have the resources to completely strip everything out and start again with just a basic shell.
Don’t misunderstand, older homes look great but you need to be prepared for a multitude of issues which will happen regardless of how much work you have already done. Money pit could be the phrase which comes to mind!