How to decide if you’re ready to tackle a home upgrade

Spring is finally in the air. That means a lot of people will be looking at cleaning, refreshing, and generally updating their homes. This can be great fun and make your home more functional as well as more attractive. You do, however, need to remember to stay within your capabilities. Here are some tips to help you decide if you’re ready to tackle a home upgrade.

Do you need to drill into your walls, floor, or ceiling?

Any time you need to drill into your walls, floor, or ceiling, you have the potential to damage the structural integrity of your home. You also have the potential to damage yourself by hitting cables (including electrical ones) and pipes. This is exactly why many landlords ban tenants from drilling into walls (and floors and ceilings) at all.

If you’re contemplating drilling into a wall (or floor or ceiling), then you need to be able to tell what kind of wall it is. For example, is it just drywall or is it a support wall?. This will determine if it’s feasible and, if so, what tools you need. You also need to know how to find key infrastructure (e.g. studs, cables, and pipes) and what to do with that information.

The good news is that there’s now a lot you can do to decorate your walls (and floors and ceiling) without having to drill into them. For example, modern hook-and-loop pads are strong enough to hang items such as mirrors as well as pictures.

Do you need to deal with piping?

You should never, ever touch gas pipes (unless you happen to be a qualified gas engineer). You may be able to touch water pipes but only if you know what you’re doing. Just disconnecting and reconnecting appliances (or faucets) is a relatively easy task.  

The problem is that if you make a mistake, you can do a lot of damage to your home. As a point of comparison, when firefighters put out fires with water, their hoses can actually do more damage than the fire.

If you’re not sure whether or not you’re up to the task you have in mind, try researching it online. Make sure you check any instructions against the setup you have in your home. Then decide if you feel confident dealing with it or if it would be better to call in help.

Do you have the tools and supplies?

If you need to buy tools just for one specific job, then it’s probably going to be more cost-effective to have somebody come in to do it for you. Supplies, including building supplies, are designed to be used up. You should, however, think about the practicalities of transporting them and also storing them while you do the work.

You also need to think about whether or not you can use your tools and supplies safely and, preferably, conveniently. For example, technically, paint sprayers are pretty easy to use. You do, however, need to use them in a well-ventilated space. If you’re a home DIYer that typically means outdoors. If that’s not practical, it may be better to call in a pro.