A Beginner’s Guide To The DIY Life

Whether your upcoming project is something minor like fixing a bicycle, or major like building a deck, there’s a sense of completion and accomplish that comes with doing the job yourself. Here’s a beginner’s guide to the DIY life.

1. Be realistic about your skills and what a project needs. Do your research and make sure it’s in your wheelhouse. You don’t want to get half way through a project before you realize you’re in over your head.

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2. It’s always best to work with a partner. Having someone to hang out with barely makes it feel like working. And you can keep on eye on each other when you’re working with tools.

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3. If it’s complicated or technical, bring in a friend with the experience and the patience to show you the ropes.

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4. Give yourself lots of time. Problems need solving, mistakes need fixing, and every once in a while you have to start over. You don’t want a looming deadline stressing you out or every hiccup will feel like a set back.

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5. Can you or someone else get hurt? There are a few things that are always best left to the professionals, like electrical work and plumbing. Don’t go it alone. Saving a few bucks isn’t worth the damage you could do to your cottage or yourself.

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6. A good chef has a recipe and a good builder has a plan. Once you have a plan, you’re half way done.

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7. Safety first. Remember to keep the first aid kit stocked, and make sure you know what the procedure, just in case there’s an emergency.

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8. Have someone you can call if things go south. The Brojects duo have their friend Brian Walker, a geotechnical engineer, on call. Sometimes you need a second opinion just to make sure you’re on the right track.

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9. If you make a mistake, chalk it up to the learning curve. Don’t get deterred, that’s how you get better.

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There’s no greater sense of accomplishment than when a project is done, you did it yourself, and you have all your fingers intact. You can put your feet up knowing full well you earned it.

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