There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, for now, the virus is still here, and many areas are still facing lockdowns and other restrictions.
Whether it’s to cure boredom, to feel productive, or to finally get around to some upgrades you’ve wanted to tackle for years, some people are turning to “pandemic projects” around the home. It can be a great way to alleviate stress and keep your mind active if you’re stuck under lockdown conditions. Plus, it can spark creativity and keep things from feeling so stale. If you’re “stuck” at home, having a space that feels comfortable and inviting is important.
But, not every home project is created equally. There are some things you can do yourself, while others should be left to the professionals. So, how can you know which projects to DIY and which ones you shouldn’t?
Consider the Big Picture
If you have a specific project in mind, take a step back before you strap on your toolbelt and get to work. Some projects might seem reasonable at first, but when you really stop to think about all of the work that needs to go into it, you might quickly see that it’s a bigger issue than you first assumed. It’s okay to do your research on how long a particular project should take and everything that’s involved. Doing so will help you to determine if it’s really something you can handle.
There are some home improvement/renovation projects that are usually just too big to DIY, including things like:
- Garage door repair
- Roof repairs
- Molding and trim
- Certain appliance installations
- Sanding floors
- Wall removal
Calling a professional handyman, contractor, or specialist for these jobs will ensure that they’re done correctly. You’ll save time, but you also might end up saving money by hiring someone because they’ll get things done efficiently and effectively, and you won’t have to worry about paying extra to repair work you accidentally installed incorrectly. The most expensive house repairs, including foundational issues and roof repairs, should almost always be done by a professional. They are costly for a reason – because they’re important to the structure and security of your home. That’s not something you should risk, especially if you don’t have any experience.
Keep Yourself Safe
One of the best ways to know whether you should DIY a project or not is to consider how safe it would be to tackle it on your own. Think about the skills needed for the project, as well as any experience that might be helpful. If you don’t have a lot of either, you could be putting yourself at risk if you try to do it on your own. Some of the most dangerous home repair tasks include:
- Roofing repairs
- HVAC maintenance or installation
- Upgrading an electrical panel
Even plumbing issues or interior construction projects could put you at risk of physical harm if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Remodeling projects can also be dangerous if you’re inexperienced. You might want to take this lockdown time to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom. But, without the skills to do so, you could put yourself in danger. Everything from installing a new bathtub to working with plumbing could put you at risk. It’s a home improvement project that is better left to the professionals.
If you’re set on DIYing some home projects, one of the best ways to approach it is to start small. You might have a long list of things you want to get done, but working on smaller projects first will boost your skills and experience, give you more confidence, and teach you some things along the way.
One of the best ways to take notice of things that really need to get done is to do some decluttering. Start your “project time” by getting rid of things around your home that you don’t need. Decluttering is also a great de-stressor, and who doesn’t need that during these uncertain times?
Once you have a clean slate to work from, consider working on projects like painting, small repairs, or replacing older items like ceiling fans or light fixtures. If the project is safe for all ages, you can even recruit family members to help you with it.
You might be surprised how much doing home projects boost your mental health, gives you a more positive outlook, and can teach you something new along the way. This pandemic has changed almost everyone’s lives. Finding something that can help you feel more centered and more “at home” in your own home will make a big difference as we all continue to get through these trying times. But, make sure you stay safe and don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s exciting to jump on a new home project, but there are some things you should consider hiring out for if you want it done right the first time.