Scots DIY expert reveals tricks for revamping your home on a budget

webnexttech | Scots DIY expert reveals tricks for revamping your home on a budget

When it comes to home improvement, we all want to make our spaces look amazing whilst spending the least amount of money. But if you’ve ever been looking around at prices, you know it can be quite costly to get professionals in. Taking on some of the work you can do yourself however is a sure-fire way to keep costs down and ensure you can spend your money where you need it most. Tracy Burns, a Carpentry and Joinery Lecturer at Glasgow Kelvin College, has shared the areas of home improvement that even a novice at DIY can take on. And of course, the mistakes to avoid. Start with basics Burns says you should learn the fundamental skills and understand how to use basic tools – and they’re not as scary as they seem. There are three things you should have in your beginner toolbox is: A hammer A reliable measuring tape A good screwdriver – or even better a cordless drill She says: “Be confident in your own ability, but also understand your limitations – don’t be attempting to rewire the house or reroute gas pipes. Sometimes you have to get the professionals in, but you will be amazed at what you could do yourself with just a little bit of basic skill and guidance from others.” Do your prep work A common mistake people make when embarking on DIY is not thoroughly prepping – and it’s a vital step that shouldn’t be skipped, she warns. For many jobs your prep should take nearly as long as the task itself. She explains; “For example, people often forget to work in a clear space, and don’t take time to measure carefully or mark out any fixings. These are common but costly mistakes, which can create a greater mess and may lead you to repair walls afterward. You can thank me later.” Restoring furniture Restoring or refurbishing furniture can breathe new life into your home – and even become a new hobby, the lecturer says. There are a number of step-by-step TikTok and YouTube tutorials that show you all the techniques and materials you might need. Just be sure to take your time and have a robust plan in place to avoid any mishaps. Practice your skills Burns says: “Take on practical projects to hone your DIY skills. Making garden planters is a great starter project to elevate your garden, and it’s also a relatively easy project that can help you learn basic hand skills. Reclaimed timber is brilliant for this, as it gives it another purpose.” Don’t waste budget on smaller jobs You could save more than 50 percent on your budget because you only have the cost of materials, not the labour cost. “If you’re opting for a full home project, you can take on smaller jobs yourself leaving more cash in the pot to call in professionals for more complicated jobs, such as plumbing, electrics, and large-scale joinery,” Burns said. She added: “Things like fixing mirrors or shelves are very straightforward provided you research the kind of wall and use safe fixings. While you should use a professional decorator or tiler for skilled work, you can reduce costs by preparing or clearing the area for decoration yourself.” Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond. Sign up to our daily newsletter.

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