As life starts to get back to normal after the Christmas break, my thoughts have once again turned back to the house and our next bout of home improvements, which has inspired a week on ‘Do-It-Yourself’ here on RMS.
James and I both have dads who are fond of a bit of DIY who have actively encouraged us to get our screwdrivers and paint brushes out. When we got the keys to our very first tiny two-bed house we redecorated it from scratch in about two months using nothing but our own fair hands. With a bit of guidance from our parents and a lot of YouTube tutorials James taught himself to tile, to lay wooden floors, to deck the garden and to recarpet too with me by his side as his not so glamorous assistant.
While the house would never have made it on to Rock My Style we made that place into a home we were proud of, all the more so because we did it all ourselves on an absolutely tiny budget.
The next house was already extensively renovated but once again James upped his skills; crafting concrete worktops, replacing radiators and fitting custom cupboards and shelves. We worked together to take our spare bedroom back to brick and put up plasterboard and redecorated the place from top to bottom.
As many of you know we’ve spent the last year up to eyes in wood and paint, DIYing our way round much of our newest house. We’ve left certain electrical jobs to the experts but the majority of it we’ve tackled ourselves. As our confidence has increased, over the years we improved our technique too; taking time to mask, using quality screws and good paint brushes as well as tried and tested paints and primers. We now have an impressive selection of rather random tools. Anyone for a G clamp?!
Some of it we’ve enjoyed, other times it’s been nothing but a pain in the bum. (Do you remember the gone-off paint incident?) There has been an unbelievable amount of blood, sweat and tears to get to the half finished stage we are at now and on multiple occasions I’ve questioned why we haven’t just paid to get someone in. As project lengths have spanned from weeks in to months I’ve regularly wondered what it would be like to walk through the door after a days work and find that someone else has painted a room or built a cupboard. However there’s a certain amount of pride that comes with a DIY job especially when others can’t believe it was achieved by a bit of your own graft. Obviously more often than not it’s a cheaper alternative too and there are some rogue traders out there who aren’t fussed about a great finish or will leave you hanging midway through a job.
I’m well aware our projects are small-fry, some of my friends are self-managing and DIYing huge renovation projects restoring homes to their former glory and I take my hat off to them. Between us we work around a hundred hours a week and are very lucky to have an amazing group of friends ensuring we have a very active social life. Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day and the house can end up in disarray for weeks on end. For that reason we’re considering taking a bit of a backseat to DIY from craftyclub in 2017 and have decided to hand over our upcoming bathroom project to the professionals (or at least part of it). I don’t feel it’s a cop out, just a way to get some of my sanity back and an extra couple of hours of sleep. I’ll keep you posted on the bathroom but the lovely Lolly will be resurrecting last year’s Rock my Room series very soon with her own bathroom project.
What are your views on DIY? Is do-it-yourself a must do in your pad or do you hire in the professionals?