There’s a happy medium with DIY, depending on your skill-level, your budget, and how much time the needs of your family leave you to get the toolkit out. It would be ridiculous to call out a professional every time you need to change a simple bayonet light-bulb. On the other hand, trying to save money by rewiring your home yourself could be disastrous.
For anything you’re not confident about, your best bet is a handyman, and it’s easy enough, for instance, finding a handyman in south London Putney. Here are a few ideas, though, to make some common jobs accessible to anyone with some DIY skill.
Putting Up a Shelf
If you need an elegant-looking shelving unit, that’s a job for a professional, but it’s not too difficult to put up a single shelf, perhaps for the children’s toys or books. You can buy a shelf kit at any of the major DIY chains, but you still need to be careful putting it up.
The most important thing is to get the shelf level, and this requires a spirit-level and some patience. Make sure the bubble is exactly in the centre and mark off a straight line in pencil — before you let it slip. If you get this right, you shouldn’t find toys sliding gently down to one end. The Guardian has a light-hearted but informative video that takes you through the whole process.
Framing and Hanging Pictures
You needn’t wait till you possess an Old Master before you think about framing and hanging. You can frame a photo, a print from the market, or even one of the kids’ art successes from school. The Telegraph gives advice on both the framing and hanging stages.
In choosing the frame, make sure it sets the picture off without overpowering it. For hanging, think about where it can be seen to best effect, but also make sure it isn’t going to be regularly in direct sunlight, which could damage the picture.
Whether you’re painting the walls, the woodwork or the exterior, the key is to be methodical and thorough, making sure you don’t skimp on any of the essential stages. Always prepare the surface correctly, whether that means sanding it down or applying a primer.
Make sure you buy the right type and amount of paint for the job. Too little, and you risk finding the shop’s out of that colour when you go back. Too much, and it’ll still be taking up space ten years later. Using the BBC’s calculator should help you get it right.