The next couple of weeks will see the busiest time of year for people turning their attention to their home improvements. With the Easter bank holiday followed by the extra bank holiday friday given to us by William and Kate, and then the following May Day bank holiday, many of us have got some time to get stuck in to some of those DIY projects that need attention.
But please take care, because although this is traditionally a busy time for DIY, it is also when hospitals see a rise in the amount of emergencies due to DIY accidents!
Some basic safety tips to bear in mind include:
- Wear relevant protective clothing which might include safety goggles, gloves, dust mask, and strong shoes or boots.
- Always erect ladders following the manufacturer’s instructions – ladders are one of the main causes of accidents in the home. Make sure it can take your weight and anything else you are carrying. And make sure it is secure!
- If working with anything generating fumes, make sure you are working in a well ventilated area eg painting, varnishing, paint stripping.
- Work tidily – make sure you put tools away when you have finished using them. Don’t leave any tools lying around.
- Keep children and pets away from the area you are working in.
- If using electrical equipment, use an RCD (Residual Current Device)
- It may sound obvious, but use the correct tools for the job. You can always hire equipment that you may only need to use once.
Maybe most importantly you should ask yourself ‘Is this something I can take on myself?’
Never underestimate the difficulty of a job, and if you think it is beyond you, get someone else to do it!
You can get free no-obligation quotes for your home improvement projects from reliable and insured tradesmen in your local area by filling in this form.
DIY Doctor’s main office is based just outside Frome in Somerset, and having been located in or around Frome for the last ten years we have decided to launch our first local ‘DIYer of the Year’ competition in our home town as part of a bigger national competition.
We have joined forces with our local Ironmongers in the town, ‘Sergeant Ironmongers’, who are sponsoring the event, to celebrate the DIY skills of the local residents. DIY enthusiasts are invited to test their knowledge in an online quiz, with the top scorers invited to a live final in the town with the chance to win £200 worth of equipment, and to be named Frome’s DIYer of the Year.
The competition is open to the residents of Frome and anyone living within a 10 mile radius of the town. The closing date for entries is the 31st May 2011.
A new hourly van hire service has just been launched by B&Q, so that now you don’t have to try to get all your DIY purchases in the back of your car.
The home improvement and garden centre retailer has signed a three year deal with Connect by Hertz offering the customer van hire. The service costs £14 per hour and that includes the first 20 miles, after which you will pay 30p a mile.
So when you can’t get that garden furniture in the boot, there may be another option! What do you think of this idea – would you consider hiring a van to get your stuff home?
DIY Doctor Mike Edwards was asked to contribute to an article published by Confused.com last week.
In a piece advising the public what they need to consider if you are planning some DIY over the bank holiday weekends coming up. The main point is to do your research and make sure you have obtained the correct advice before you start, whether that is to do with fitting windows, paving your garden, doing electrical work or changing the exterior of your property.
If you ignore or don’t take advice, it can mean lots of trouble and it can cost you dearly when you want to sell your house!
Housing associations and councils in England could be giving tenants money to do repairs on their homes under a new Tenant Cashback scheme. Housing Minister Grant Shapps said that basic house maintenance was often something that tenants could undertake themselves, and it currently costs social landlords £4billion a year. The idea is that tenants would be given control over their repairs budget, although responsibility for major works would remain with the landlord.
The government says that housing associations and councils currently spend around £1000 a year per property on repairs, and that by either doing the work themselves or getting a professional local tradesman in, could save landlords a lot of money, and tenants could benefit from the savings made. This could be great news for local plumbers, electricians and decorators.
Tenants could also pool their resources by creating a ‘Community Cashback’ account to pay for improvements to particular streets or neighbourhoods.
The scheme is going to be tested by 2 housing associations, with the aim of rolling out the scheme across England later in the year.