It’s true, with some research online, the right tools, and a healthy dose of patience, you can do a lot in the house by yourself. It’s also true that sometimes one can bite more than they can chew. When when it comes to some home projects, this can lead to serious damage – both to your building and, potentially, to yourself.
1. You can do yourself – Upcycling furniture
This is not the easiest ‘DIY’ project, but likely one of the most useful skills you can learn as a homeowner. Taste isn’t about how many store-bought designer furniture elements you can afford, taste is about knowing how to mix what you can afford with what you already own.
The approach to upcycling furniture depends entirely on the unit you have, but a quick online search will suffice to find numerous, detailed guides and tutorials.
2. Hire a PRO: Structural changes
Need more open space? Knock down a wall. Just don’t do it yourself! First of all, those walls can contain electrical wiring or plumbing. Second, if you knock down a load-bearing wall, the ceiling may follow.
3. You can do yourself – Tile-laying
First, remember that tile-laying and tile-replacement are different. You can either choose to remove the tiles your room has and swap them with new ones, or you can lay your tiles on top of the tiles already in your room. The latter is obviously cheaper to do.
If you just want to lay new tiles on top of what you already have, then this is a pretty good guide.
4. Hire a PRO: Replacing tiles
You’ll need a tile and flooring expert with an oscillating tool and an abrasive grout attachment to remove the grout and tile pieces. A pro will also make sure there’s a strong enough sub-floor and that tiles are cut according to the requirements of the space.
P.S: If you have patterned tiles, work very closely with your tile layer. Tiles are expensive and miscommunications can happen easily.
5. You can do yourself – Replace a Light Switch or outlet
Most important step to this is finding out what kind of switch you have. Does it control one light fixture in a single room, in that case, go for a single pole. Do you want to control one fixture from two different locations? Make sure it’s a three-way switch.
Tools/materials you’ll need:
- Needle-nose pliers
- The right light switch!
Replacing an outlet is likewise not too difficult, in this case, make sure you take a look at this guide.
6. Hire a PRO: Complex electrical work
Now, there are gradients to this. It’s one thing to flip a fuse switch, but if you have any of the below warning signs, it’s best to hire an electrician:
- Flickering lights
- Breakers that always trip
- Fuses that always blow
- A burning smell coming from appliances or in rooms
- Outlets that spark
- Outlets and switches that are hot to the touch
7. You can do yourself – Moulding
Any common area looks better with great moulding. If you live in a historic home, make sure your moulding choices complement your home’s architectural style. You can also use moulds to bring a classical feel to an otherwise contemporary room, just consult with a designer for an idea.
8. Hire a PRO: Plumbing repair
Unless it’s something simple like unclogging a toilet, this is the one problem you do not want to risk getting worse or handling yourself. We highly recommend you hire a plumber to come check your pipes out. It’s a great way to prevent disasters.
Also, if you find a reliable plumber, save their number. You don’t want to waste half a day looking for a plumber when things go wrong.
9. You can do yourself: Changing filters and checking for leaks
Every few months, replace the filters in your air conditioning unit. This’ll help make sure the air it’s pumping out (and into your lungs) is clean.
You can also check the ductwork of your cooling unit to test for leaks. If you think there’s gas leaking, call a PRO.
10. Hire a PRO: HVAC Repairs
The heating and cooling air conditioning systems in your home involve both gas and electricity, both of which can be incredibly dangerous when not properly dealt with.
A note on this: According to pros we have talked with, gas leakages due to bad repairs was one of the most common problems Maltese households faced.
11. You can do yourself: Build furniture
It might sound out of this world, but the making of furniture units is not as out there as you may think. Yes, there’s some furniture items – such as your sofa and your wardrobe – that should definitely be left to a PRO, or bought ready-made. However, with thousands of guides online and vast DIY and hardware stores popping up around Malta, building shelves and simple storage units is not too hard.
12. Hire a PRO: Interior Design
You might scoff at us for this one, but we’re serious. Regardless of your budget, don’t start buying. Instead, a site visit is a modest expense that’ll give you fantastic returns.
A designer can help you make a solid plan of how to bring your home to life, consulting you on where to buy, what to spend money on and what not to, ways to make your place pop with what you already have, and more.
They can also advise you on ways to seriously cut down on your costs, making them all the more worth hiring.