Acquiring balance – From DIY safety to hiring professionals
A healthy balance between hiring contractors and doing certain things yourself will go a long way to streamline your projects as well as saving you money, time, and stress. However, although taking care of your home renovations may seem like a great alternative to paying for professionals, even the simplest of tasks can pose a risk to your health and safety.
When you consider rolling up your sleeves and doing the work yourself instead of hiring a professional, it is important to implement the same kind of control steps that they would use. Strong checks, certified equipment, and guaranteed to keep you and anyone else from harm.
Here we list five essential steps to home renovations and DIY safety:
1 – Prep work
This advice may seem elementary but it’s of the utmost importance that you must make sure you have all relevant and accredited safety gear during renovations. This includes everything from disposable and eco-friendly dust masks to eyewear like protective goggles. Next, make sure that you’re fully aware of your home‘s layout. This is the best time to get in touch with an Interior Designer to get proper plans. The last thing you want to do is put a sledge hammer through your piping, wiring, or asbestos wall lining.
Don’t skip out on reading the instructions on any product that requires a step-by-step approach. You would be surprised at how many accidents and unnecessary stress can be avoided by simply reading the fine print. Youtube videos offer fantastic alternatives to words on a page with visual aids for those who prefer a more direct approach. In any case, you’ll want to have some planning done before you tackle your next renovation project.
- Work Bench/ SPACE
Although not always possible, a sectioned off part of your home for just your tools and DIY projects makes the world of difference. A clear working space allows you to operate in relative safety without putting your home at risk. Places like your garage or your backyard are perfect because they’re external to your home interior and offer spaces out of reach for your kids.
Be sure to keep a medical kit nearby for any emergencies. With Sharp tools, electrical appliances and heavy objects lying around, having access to utilities like bandages, gauze, and burning ointment are vital. You don’t need to be a field surgeon, but it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!
- Ladders / Scaffolding
A good functional ladder is a household staple. Take the time to consider what sort of ladder you need based on your home design. Do you need a standalone to rest against walls? Or more of a standing platform style for the ceiling fixtures? Make sure you also factor in the load, this includes yourself and your tools.
For reasons that should be obvious, ladders constitute almost 40% of DIY related emergencies. Because of this, ladder safety isn’t just for the superstitious, it could be the difference between life and death.
- PPE – Personal Protection Equipment
Mentioned before, protective gear is essential to home renovation.
Buy shatterproof protective eyewear that meets South African Standards (SABS) for safety that is ideal for outside working, debris from power tools, dealing with volatile liquids, or spraying water.
When it comes to noisy tools, protect your ears with CE approved muffs. Better yet, some muffs even come with a bluetooth connection, allowing you to stream music while you work. (A huge improvement from ear-splintering saws and drills!)
Finally, take good care of your hands. Good quality gloves with a snug fit are a must. If you’re dealing with a lot of corrosive chemicals for mixing then invest in a good pair of waterproof gloves with long sleeves. In addition, have a spare box of disposable gloves for whenever you’re painting or varnishing.
- Know your limits
We all have our talents and no one doubts this, but there is always a limit to your capabilities. You may think you can match the level of skill displayed by renovation teams on television but it’s the standard of skill displayed that should never be an example of what the average homeowner is capable of.
An elaborate dream home is easy to envision but not so easy to build on your own. Always respect your limits and know when it’s time to get the professionals in instead.
Looking to get some expert help, but don’t know who to call? Sonae Arauco has a list of trusted distributors and reliable affiliate organisations that are more than willing to add insight and professional expertise for your home interior projects.
We recommend this growing list of professional contractors and building advisors from all over the country:
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