In the current climate, any household saving is going to make things easier. So why not ditch the experts and try out some of the mid-level DIY jobs yourself? From dealing with plumbing issues to wallpapering, the jobs below will cost hundreds to call someone in, but a relatively small amount in tools and materials when you do them yourself.
Plastering, priming & papering
Whilst even the most DIY-averse of us can pick up a paintbrush when needed, many of us still believe we need the pros when it comes to more specialist decor jobs like wallpapering and plastering. While plastering brand new walls does require certain skills and tools, plastering small areas, and filling holes and cracks can be done by anyone. If you want to make your life even easier, buy a tub of ready-mixed plaster. Apply using a small pointed trowel and leave it to dry before sanding to a smooth finish. If you have the time, build this up in layers.
Getting someone in to put up your wallpaper can also cost you £££s for each room. But learning to do it yourself is easy. You will need some wallpaper paste, a long table (or at least a large hard floor space), a tape measure, and a basic set of wallpaper tools.
If you pick up the phone every time you have a leaky tap or a blocked loo, then you’ll know how much this is costing in call-out charges alone. Sometimes an emergency requires a professional, but you’ll be surprised how much you can do yourself. Leaky taps can be fixed easily, if it’s coming from the spout you’ll need a new washer, and from anywhere else (handle or below spout), you’ll need a new O-ring. Both of these can be found at the DIY store and changed with just a few basic tools and a YouTube video.
Most toilet blockages can be fixed with an old-fashioned plunger, and most other drain blockages will clear with a chemical solution. Other jobs, like fitting a new shower head and even applying new sealant around the sink or bath, can also be done yourself.
If your home is rural, or maybe just very old, it may not be connected to certain grids. This means you might have a septic tank or an oil tank. If this is the case, it will save you significant money if you can familiarize yourself with how they work. Sometimes you’ll have no choice but to call a professional, but there are some jobs, like changing the oil filter, that you can do yourself. When it comes to the septic tank, it’s best to leave jobs like pumping to the pros, but you can still do plenty to maintain it, from reducing your water usage to being more careful about what goes down the loo.
Gutter rust repair
Whilst most houses have plastic guttering, some older houses may have retained the gorgeous metal guttering the house was built with. Unfortunately, these gutters are vulnerable to rust. Such rust can appear on other metal pipes, present in different parts of older houses, such as under the sink. Rusty gutters or pipes are often a sign that the whole system needs to be replaced with plastic, but small amounts of rust or small holes can be fixed with metal glue, which is great for DIY jobs of this nature. Just sand down any flaky rust and apply the glue.
Tiling the kitchen or bathroom
Most people are scared of tiling, but you can save yourself literally hundreds of pounds if you do it yourself. You’ll have to invest in a tile cutter, and you’ll also need a tile trowel, spacers, and a spirit level. Make sure you’ve done your measurements and bought plenty of tiles. Find a reliable online guide and then take your time. Complete the job properly with grout and tile sealant for a professional finish.
These jobs do require preparation, learning, and commitment, but as long as you do your research you can get them done without even picking up the phone. If you already do simple home and garden jobs, you’re ready for the next step. Not only will you save considerable money, but you’ll also enjoy an extreme sense of satisfaction.