A little Knowledge of Building is a Dangerous Thing, and no Knowledge can be Expensive
At DIYDoctor we aim to give you the support you need to undertake home improvements with confidence, whether you are doing the work yourself, or contracting a tradesman to do work for you.
We have lots of help and advice for homeowners who are not experienced in the ways their house works. We have been in the trade for so long we have a wealth of expert knowledge that we are happy to pass onto you before you begin. You should feel comfortable asking your builder the questions you need to know before work starts, to avoid misunderstandings and costly mistakes.
Builders are like any other experts in their field; they get to know so much about buildings that they sometimes forget that other people have very little idea of how it all fits together. However if you admit your lack of knowledge and they take the time to answer your fears and concerns about the project, you have probably found yourself a good tradesman.
Old Buildings are Like Old Cars
Old buildings need a bit of investigation, cajoling and even innovation to repair and conserve the fabric of the building which is bound to wear out in places over time. Like car mechanics if you get a good builder you can take a leap of faith and trust them to get on with the job, but we know it takes time and a bit of confidence to build up that trust which is exactly why we have so many How To guides on our website.
If you watch our tutorials and gain a basic understanding you don’t then need to do the work (unless you want to), but it will help you understand what your expert tradesman is suggesting to you.
What you might not realise is that there is often more than one way to deal with a repair job, and depending on the experience of you builder they may offer you one solution or a choice of options. So how do your know which one to pick or even if the solution on offer is the right one for you and your home?
Advice for Homeowners
This is where DIY Doctor’s thousands of pages of help and advice come into play. Read around the problem you have found in our projects section, watch our videos on the site and on You Tube, and ask questions on our forum – others are bound to have had similar problems and can help with cost effective solutions and warn you about pitfalls to avoid. After all experts are just people with experience, and experience is sometimes a painful process, so make sure you benefit from the experiences of others and make use of our forum before taking the plunge.
Finally don’t forget that we have tools that help you find a reliable tradesman, and to keep your project on budget, on time and on track – these are all free tools for you to make use of and you will find lots of help in our Find Tradesman Section.
We were prompted to write this article because of some feedback we got in our repairing joists project where one of our readers commented on the experience their Daughter and son-in-law had when consulting a builder about their rotten joists:
My daughter and son-in-law were panicked by a specialist company which reported that their entire floor and joists needed replacing because of wet rot at the ends of some of the timbers.
Thanks to your site I was able to persuade them that, provided it is done properly, joists can be repaired. They are now getting an independent surveyor to look at the problem and provide an estimate of cost. They also plan to employ a reputable builder to do the work.
I suspect a lot of money will be saved! Thanks.
Well we are pleased to be able to help, and even if at the end of the investigation their joists do need replacing at least they will be reassured that that was indeed the best solution for them in their house, and not just the best one for the contractor.
We always welcome feedback on our site and your experiences of homebuilding and renovating, so please make sure you keep in touch while you are using the site. You can also sign up for our newsletters which appear 2/3 times a month with the latest projects, video guides, offers and products information. Opting in and out at any time is as simple as clicking a mouse and adding your email, so why not try it?
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