DIY advice for your summer jobs

With almost half of adults admitting to abandoning DIY projects part way through, many people choose to call in a professional to finish the job. We spoke to DIY expert Tommy Walsh about keeping safe when doing it yourself.

With almost half of adults admitting to abandoning DIY projects part way through, many people choose to call in a professional to finish the job. According to a recent study from British Gas, when home improvement projects fail, it can be a costly affair with men reportedly making the most costly mistakes. We spoke to DIY expert Tommy Walsh about keeping safe when doing it yourself.

What DIY jobs are essential to tackle in the summer months?

‘Summer is a great time to carry out external projects like re-painting the outside of your house or creating a patio or decking area for entertaining. Even routine annual maintenance like cleaning out gutters, gullies, patios and decking are just as important – or applying protective preservative coatings to your fence or shed in preparation for the winter months. Also plan ahead for the rest of the year – check the forecast to see when there are warm, sunny days in store to refresh external paintwork, or any other external DIY project. Remember internal DIY like decorating or tiling are perfect jobs for the summer too. Leave doors and windows open for the fresh air and the new work will dry much quicker. My top tip is to always get someone to hold the ladder when undertaking any jobs that require one.’

What safety precautions should you take when doing minor DIY jobs?

‘Wear safety glasses and high-quality dust masks whenever you do DIY. Safety glasses protect you from serious eye injuries, and dust masks will keep you safe when rubbing down old surfaces for re-decorating, as old paint can contain lead or other toxins. As a general rule of thumb, ask a family member or a friend to help out with any DIY projects – not only does this mean that two brains can tackle the problem, but it’s also rewarding to share credit of a job well done.’

When is the best time to call in a professional?

‘There’s nothing wrong with bit of DIY, but people need to know what they should and shouldn’t be taking on. Some jobs such as boiler repairs need professionals and having a go yourself is not only pretty risky, but can also hit you in your pocket.

What are your golden rules for preparation before starting any DIY task?

1. When carrying out painting work inside the house, always start at the top of the house and work your way down. You’ll learn from your mistakes as you go along, and by the time you get to the main rooms downstairs, for example the living room and dining room, you’ll be a pro!

Do you have any personal DIY horror stories?

‘Many years ago on a plastering job, the electrical alterations were carried out by the house holder, long before safety regulations. When I applied the plaster to the wall, I got a strong tingling up my arm, the poor electrical work electrified the whole wall through the wet plaster. I wasn’t amused!