Laurie March is the resident House Counselor for HGTVRemodels.com, a website dedicated to helping people through their home renovation. She empowers girls to pick up a drill (and learn the correct techniques for wielding power tools), and shares DIY tips that even the laziest of decorators can get on board with. See her tips for getting in touch with your inner DIY diva.
Where do you start if you're new to Do It Yourself (DIY) projects? "The universal starting point for most people should be painting," Laurie responds. The materials are not that expensive and things like rollers, brushes, drop clothes, and paint trays can be reused if you get good quality ones.
Laurie says painting is a good entry level project that will tell you a lot about yourself. "Did you stress out about picking a color, did you prepare your room properly, did you cover everything up? Did you make it through the project and finish it in the time you put aside for yourself?" It's a good project to judge where your strengths are in DIY.
"Some people find that they really like working with their hands and others want to pull their hair out," Laurie says. Plus, there's instant gratification in painting a room — a project that you can easily tackle in a weekend.
Get professional help anytime you are trying to tackle a task that's trade specific. Laurie recommends relying on professionals for anything related to electrical, plumbing or demolition. "When things go wrong with an electrical or plumbing project, they can go dangerously wrong," she says. While there are DIY projects that fall into these areas, Laurie recommends avoiding them if you're new to remodeling.
Ladies, let's hear no more excuses about being afraid of breaking a nail. Laurie says every gal should know how to do three things: "You have to be able to paint a room, hang a curtain rod, and hang your own pictures."
"You might get to a point where you switch out your pictures and create your own artwork, but if you wait for someone else to hang them, you're in trouble," she says. These three things are basic elements that can quickly change the look of a space. Plus, you'll feel proud of yourself for doing it on your own.
We can't all be DIY divas all the time, so what do we do when we want a revamped look, but let's face it, would rather be watching Glee? "If you're lazy, or if your time is constricted, it's worthwhile hiring someone to do a project. We always think we can do it ourselves, but sometimes we forget to calculate our own time and inclinations." Even if you love doing things yourself, there's no shame in hiring someone to do small projects. "Sometimes hiring a professional is way cheaper than dragging it out and doing it yourself."
So, what will be your first home improvement project?
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