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Top 10 DIY tips

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DIY guru Aidan Bennett shows us the tricks of the trade.

DIY is cheaper than hiring someone else to do it. Because you’re in charge, you can complete the job at your own pace – and change your mind if you want to.

1. Repaint your front door

The front door is the first thing anyone sees when they arrive at your home, but it is often neglected. A new-look entrance can be achieved in a simple weekend project involving the preparation of the door and the application of two coats of paint. You may want to consider a new look for your door – if you currently have a high gloss, dark coloured door, would a matt finish in a pastel shade suit your home and make it stand out from your neighbours?

2. Manage your budget

Calculate exactly how much you’ve got to spend, breaking down your costs into materials, equipment, labour and so on. This will avoid any nasty surprises later down the line.

3. Measure twice cut once

I cannot stress this enough. The art lies in slowing things down and taking your time. Always double-check your measurements to avoid costly mistakes

4. Clean the grout in your bathroom

Over the years the grout in your bathroom can become dirty. Use an old toothbrush and a proprietary cleaner to tackle the grime. If the cleaner has anti-mould qualities it will help to break down the mould. Keep the room ventilated. If this method doesn’t produce good results you can purchase a grout remover and carefully remove the existing grout. You can then apply a top coat of new grout.

5. Waste not want not

This axiom says it all. Use all your waste and offcuts. Often people will plan ineffectively and waste a lot of timber, cement, board and other supplies.

6. Repaint a room

Repainting a room can make all the difference. Choose the colour you want. If you are painting a kitchen or bathroom remember the paint has to be suitable for a high-humidity environment. Enamel is a good choice. The key to achieving a good finish is good preparation. Fill cracks with a filler then rub down when the filler has dried. Ensure walls are dust-free and wash them all with a light soap and rinse with clean water. Start with the ceiling, then walls, then woodwork. For a perfect finish apply a second coat.

7. Get the right tool for the job.

With the right tool in hand anything can be accomplished.

8. Stay safe

To avoid damaging your home or yourself, learn how to use equipment safely before you start, otherwise enlist the help of someone who can. Equip yourself with the right clothing for the job – hard hat, dust mask, overalls – and keep children and pets out of the way.

9. Lay a laminate wooden floor

Adding a wooden floor adds to a room. Laying the floor is a DIY task that anyone with simple skills can do. Many floors simply click together, allowing you to produce a perfect finish. Before you start ensure you have all the tools you need, and also purchase the correct underlay – you also need to decide which way you want the floor to run. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You will probably need to cut the final boards to fit, and then either reapply the skirting board or apply a wooden batten to cover the expansion gap.

10. Decorate a feature wall with wallpaper

Choosing a high-quality paper will let you produce a good result easier, and a plain textured paper is easier than one requiring pattern matching.

As with most DIY tasks good preparation is the key. Ensure your wall is cleaned, washed and dry. You can now start to cut your paper. Lengths should be around 100mm longer than you require to allow for trimming. If you have a paper with a large pattern hang the first piece in the centre of the room, otherwise start in a corner.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when choosing which paste to use. After the first piece gradually work your way to the edge of the walls, cutting each piece as you go until you have completed the wall.

– Saturday Star


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