The 4 things we all wish we knew at the start of our DIY journey

The 4 things we all wish we knew at the start of our DIY journey

While we may very well be great at the various concepts of interior design and renovations in general, sometimes we could look back and wish we knew certain things at the very outset of our DIY journey. We all have to start somewhere, so if you’re looking to pass some wise information on, here are a few things that can make all the difference.

Quality tools are worth the investment

Whether it’s something as little as wood screws or a screwdriver set, high-quality tools are definitely worth your time and money. High-quality tools and implements tend to have better ergonomics, are built better, and this means that they’re also more durable, which can save you money in the long run and reduce your frustrations.

Sometimes we can’t justify a major expense, but while they say a shoddy workman blames their tools, if there are huge problems in your DIY journey, it could very well be that the things you bought are way too cheap to be effective in the long run.

Proper planning will save time and money

Sometimes we have that approach where we think we should just start something. While this could be beneficial with a small project where you’re learning the ropes and figuring out what you can and cannot do, the reality is that if you’re attempting to renovate a home or undertake a major project, you’ve got to research the potential challenges and solutions beforehand.

Consider the various factors such as weather, drying times, availability, accurate costs and unexpected expenses, as well as create a detailed project plan including material lists, step-by-step procedures and timelines. As the saying goes – fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Safety first

You should always use appropriate protective equipment, and while many of us don’t think we need to read the instructions, sometimes following all the manuals and safety guidelines can make a major difference.

When it comes to safety, keep your work area clean and organised, as this will prevent accidents, particularly with sharp tools around. Also, take the time to learn proper techniques for lifting and handling materials to reduce injury.

Start small and build up

Starting out should be dealing with simple projects that require fewer skills and tools, then gradually increase the complexity alongside our confidence. Each project is an opportunity to develop new skills, and we could certainly feel frustrated that we’re not developing as quickly as others, but we need to understand that quality work often takes time. Therefore, we should remember that precise or difficult tasks don’t benefit from rushing through. It’s okay to make mistakes, and while we should take breaks to avoid mistakes that come from fatigue, every mistake is a learning opportunity.

We need to be prepared to problem-solve and to adapt when things do go wrong. It could be very easy to be a perfectionist about it, but don’t let this hinder your progress. You have all the tools at your disposal as long as you remember to develop those fundamental skills. Stay updated on new tools, techniques and materials, but also remember that seeking insight can help people, new and old to DIY, approach their projects with greater knowledge, realistic expectations and a higher rate of success.


Taking on a fixer-upper – jobs to tackle first

Taking on a fixer-upper - jobs to tackle first

Buying a fixer-upper has multiple benefits. If you buy a house that isn’t in pristine condition, the asking price will probably be much lower, so there’s a golden opportunity to add value and put your stamp on your new home. There are downsides, but being methodical and organised can help you reduce risks and save money. In this guide, we’ve outlined some essential jobs to tackle first.

Wiring and electrics

Outdated wiring and electrical systems can be dangerous. If you’re taking on a project and the property needs rewiring or significant upgrades, it’s best to seek expert advice and address issues as a priority. Contact reputable local companies and get recommendations from people you trust and community social media groups. Get multiple quotes and compare prices. Make sure you understand the scale and type of work required, and ask for a full, written breakdown of costs. Always ensure that contractors have the relevant insurance, permits and licences. Many people like to get stuck in when it comes to DIY jobs, but anything that involves electrics or gas should be left to the professionals.

Roof repairs or replacement

The roof plays a critical role in protecting the property from the elements. If your new home has a damaged roof or there are signs of wear and tear or leaks, contact local roofing firms. It’s important to sort the roof out as quickly as possible to prevent further issues such as leaks and damp patches. It’s worth exploring the option of completely replacing the roof if it’s an old house as you’re likely to need frequent repairs in the coming years.

Windows and doors

Replacing old windows and doors has multiple benefits. New windows and doors are more energy-efficient than older examples, which will save you money on energy bills, and they can also look stylish and smart. Modern windows and doors offer enhanced security and privacy, and they can also boost curb appeal. As well as replacing old or damaged doors and windows, you may also want to consider adding extra windows to maximise natural light. Contact glass suppliers to find out more about features like roof lights, lanterns and skylights. Adding more light will make your rooms look bigger and brighter. It’s beneficial to compare quotes and consider different designs and styles before you decide what to do and which company to choose.

Layout changes

Older houses often have different layouts and floor plans to newer properties. If you’re modernising an old house, you may want to alter the layout to suit your lifestyle and your requirements. It’s common for new homes to have bigger kitchens and open-plan living areas, for example. More traditional properties usually have a larger number of smaller rooms. Knocking down walls can help you maximise usable space and design rooms that are better suited to your family. It’s better to draw up plans during the early stages of the renovation than to modify the layout later.

There are lots of advantages to buying a fixer-upper, but there’s often a lot of work involved. If you’re taking on a large-scale renovation project, focus on priority tasks. Examples include updating the electrics or rewiring the property, replacing windows and doors, repairing the roof and adjusting the layout of your living spaces.


Home renovations you should never attempt alone (Unless you’re a trained professional)

Home renovations you should never attempt alone (Unless you’re a trained professional)

When it comes to home renovations, DIY approaches can be cost-effective and rewarding when done correctly. Unfortunately, there are some home renovations that you should never attempt alone. No matter how many YouTube videos you’ve watched or articles you’ve read, there are some situations where the stakes are simply too high and there’s potential for a major disaster to occur.

So, in this post, we’re going to explain what those types of renovations are and why you should always let a trained expert handle them.

Any structure-related work

The structure of your home is surprisingly delicate, and you could cause some serious damage if you’re not completely sure what you’re doing. Attempting to alter the structure, such as removing walls, could potentially damage your entire home and may cause upper floors to weaken or even collapse.

If you’re interested in structural home renovations, then you should always seek expert advice. Doing so will ensure that the structure of your home remains secure, giving you peace of mind and protecting you against a plethora of potential issues. Incorrect modifications and poor calculations will lead to catastrophic failures that will risk the integrity of your home.

Any work on your roof

Even if you have a friend or two to help you, we’d generally suggest not working on your roof unless you know what you’re doing.

The reason is that your roof is a dangerous place. There could be loose or weak tiles, you could have pests up there, and it could be slippery if the weather has been bad. If you lose concentration for even a moment when you’re on the roof, then you could potentially fall off, fall through the ceiling below and injure yourself.

Let a professional handle it instead. Don’t try to climb up your roof and perform your own renovation works. Instead, leave it up to the professionals who have all the proper safety equipment and insurance certificates.

Any electrical work

Changing a light fixture might be possible for a skilled DIYer, but it could still be dangerous if it’s your first time doing it. Electrical wiring can be different from home to home, and even room to room, so there are cases where something might not be suitable for a DIYer to handle. Perhaps the wiring in your home has faults that need to be detected by a skilled electrician, or maybe you just don’t have the equipment to deal with it.

Leave electrical work up to the professionals so that you can stay safe. An electrician will have all the tools and knowledge to carry out electrical work quickly and efficiently, so there’s really no reason for someone to do it themselves and put their lives at risk. Even if you’ve viewed plenty of videos and read guides about how to do DIY electrical work, always make sure to play it safe so that you’re not putting yourself and others at risk of injury.

Therefore, unless you’re a trained professional in some of these fields, it’s always better to seek expert advice. Avoid potentially harming yourself and let someone else do a good job for you.


Exterior home renovations near me

Exterior home renovations near me

As a homeowner, a lot of the time, attention and money that you can afford goes into your house. Home renovations become a common occurrence once you have your own home, and it may seem as though the work is never complete.

Unfortunately, if you operate like most other homeowners, then you are missing out on a crucial element of home renovations – the exterior.

The majority of work done on your home is to improve the interior conditions, creating bigger and better living spaces that you can enjoy with the family. But the exterior of your home is just as important and needs attention.

As this is uncharted territory for a lot of homeowners, you may not even know where to start or who to turn to when it comes to exterior renovations.

What are exterior renovations?

Much like with your home’s interior, there are many areas you can work on to improve the appearance and functionality of the exterior.

One of the most important elements of a home’s exterior is the roof, as this is a significant element to the overall structural integrity of your home. Without the proper care or installation, your roof can cause a lot of issues both inside and outside of the home.

The roof is a key element to the overall structure of the home and the stability of the property as a whole. It keeps a solid structure that supports the rest of the property.

Functionality does not have to come at the cost of style, though, and many homeowners want to improve their home’s exterior with roof renovations. Based on your property and the kind of style you want for your home, there are various roofing options for you to consider that can improve things.

There are several other forms of exterior renovations that you could consider; for instance, an extension, decking, replacement windows and skylights, but the roof is often the first place to start.

Local exterior renovation services in Portland

Whether your roof is damaged or simply old-fashioned, it is time to call in the exterior renovation experts to make changes.

Due to how fundamental the roof is for the overall structural integrity and style of your property, you want to ensure you’re in good hands for renovations.

As a Portland resident, you have access to one of the best exterior renovation companies in the state that provides expert roofing services.

Allen Exterior is a leading roofing and renovation company based in Portland that has been serving the surrounding counties for over a decade. There’s a range of services available from this company, including roof renovations, to improve your home and provide a better exterior appearance.

Don’t fall into the trap that a lot of homeowners do by neglecting the exterior of your home, and instead call in the professionals from this local company to take care of everything on your behalf.

You can learn more about this company’s services and request a quote at