Tackling a do-it-yourself project can be fun and fulfilling when everything goes right and the finished product is to your liking. Adversely, a DIY effort can also turn out to be absurdly difficult and disappointing if you’re not sufficiently equipped with the right tools, materials, and knowledge to properly complete the job.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can sharpen your handy skills and arsenal to ensure you’re always prepared to handle any DIY job with absolute proficiency, accuracy, and safety. There are also certain steps you can take to make sure you’re not overlooking anything and to take the necessary preliminary measures before committing to a project. With that said, here are five tips you can use to drastically simplify and enhance the completion of your upcoming DIY project:
1. Use Online Unit Converters
One of the most frustrating problems you can encounter during a DIY project is when the instructions are using measurement units that are foreign or different from the form of measuring you’re using. When that happens you’ll either have to perform some complex calculations to convert the measurement unit into something you can use, or you’ll have to use a calculator.
You’ll probably want to do the latter, but there’s a good chance that you won’t have an advanced scientific calculator that contains a thermal conductivity converter or some other odd calculator that you’ll need to complete a home building/repair job, so it’s best to use an online tool to take care of a step like this. It’s a good idea to create a folder in your bookmarks specifically for tools like this, as you’ll probably need them in the future.
2. Refer to Multiple Tutorials
Most people make the mistake of only paying attention to a single tutorial, trying not to confuse themselves with too many sources. However, reading as many tutorials, guides, and articles you can find is a good preliminary practice to make sure you have a well-rounded understanding of the topic before following a specific set of steps.
Plus, sometimes a person can be wrong about their approach or knowledge of the subject, so it’s always good to consider all possible angles before making your selection. Referring to multiple guides will not only put you in an ideal position to choose the most comprehensive one for your process, it will also introduce you to auxiliary resources you can use to further simplify or facilitate proper completion of the job. Ideally, you’ll be able to take several different guides and combine their steps to create your own all-inclusive project outline.
3. Find Comprehensive Video Walkthroughs
Nowadays there are at least a couple of video walkthroughs for just about every common DIY project, and usually you can find them all on YouTube. Put together a collection of links to helpful videos in your browser’s bookmarks folder and try to watch as many videos as you can about a project before beginning the work.
You don’t want to be halting productivity to look for additional info when you can have it all set up and ready to play. Using a tablet, laptop, or large monitor to have the video playing while you’re working will give you the advantage of being able to follow along and quickly refer to different points in the tutorial as needed.
4. Get a Master Tool Set
If you’re a regular handyman then you probably already have a decent tool set, but even then, it’s likely that you occasionally find yourself running to the hardware store for an odd part. A good way to keep your future shopping lists minimal is to go ahead and invest in a robust master tool set. While these kits can cost thousands of dollars, there are also plenty of ways to finance the purchase if you have decent credit, and they’re definitely worth the nominal monthly lease payment if you’re able to obtain financing for them.
If spending thousands on tools doesn’t seem like an option for you at the moment, you’ll be happy to discover that there are plenty of home tool set options in the $100-$500 range if you’re just looking for a set that will cover all the basics and then some. Anyone who plans on doing extensive automotive or home renovation work should definitely have a worthy tool set to minimize the amount of separate purchases that need to be made for each DIY project.
5. Organize a Plan and Stick to it
One of the main reasons why projects go wrong is because many people just try to “wing it” or “go with the flow” and learn as they go along. That’s not a problem if you’re prepared to redo the job and/or buy more materials, but if you want it done right the first time, it’s a good idea to plan everything ahead of time.
Gather your resources, tools, and materials, and use what you have to create an outline of steps. Once you have that outline you can focus on micromanaging and optimizing each aspect and stage of the process. Try to find a to-do list or planning app that will centralize your list of instructions and provide easy reference. Having your list accessible via a mobile app will be particularly convenient if you’re going to be doing a job that will have you moving around a lot.
Practice on Things That Aren’t Valuable
In closing, a good way to brush up on your handy skills without experimenting during an actual project is to buy surplus materials. That way you can craft your own creations and see how things work without taking the risk of botching an actual effort. If you’re serious about becoming a better DIYer, consider setting up a workshop where you can work on concepts and exercise creativity freely. If you’ve followed the tips above, you should have plenty of resources and sources of inspiration to keep you busy for a while, especially if you actually have work that needs to be done.