10 tips to cut the cost of DIY

10 tips to cut the cost of DIY

1. Go for the grouting

Your bathroom might not need the full makeover you're planning to make it look fresh. Just cleaning up your grout lines could make a big difference and make your bathroom look just like new. For a cheap way to tackle your grouting, mix bicarbonate of soda with white vinegar and scrub with a hard bristle brush. If your bathroom has particularly stubborn black mould, you might be better using a rotating multi tool to scrub the grout back and remove the mould.

2. Double up your drill

Got some flatpack furniture to assemble? Don't waste money on an electric screwdriver- just use your drill. By fitting a hex key bit to the drill, you can power turn all those fiddly nuts and bolts. A good drill bit set (available from most DIY stores) will have a selection of hex key bits in different sizes for exactly this type of job.

3. Smarten up your wood

Instead of forking out for new wooden furniture to perk up your rooms, just spruce up your old ones. Stain dull wood by lightly sanding items using a fine grade of sandpaper and a power sander, and then apply wood care oil with a lint free cloth. A couple of coats of oil will make any wooden surface look great. A quick, easy and simple job, this will bring new life to wooden worktops, table tops and even garden furniture.

4. Take care of your drains

Clogged drains can be a real pain, not to mention the cost and mess involved in unblocking them. Keep them flowing free by pouring down a couple of tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda, followed by some vinegar, then flushing through with some hot water. Do this on a monthly basis and your drains should never get clogged up.

5. Match stick mending

If you accidentally drill too large a hole, or have screws in hinges and handles that have become loose over time, plug the hole with match sticks and then screw the screw back in with a screwdriver. Matches are made of the same wood that wall plugs were originally made from, making them the perfect solution. Be sure to remove the match head before plugging the hole.

6. Get the right equipment

If you're drilling a hole in a wall, make sure you're using the right drill bit for the job. Use a masonry bit for a brick wall and a wood bit for a plasterboard wall. You'll also need to use the appropriate wall fixing – it will tell you on the packet which wall each fixing is for. If you pay attention to these two key elements you'll have no costly drilling mishaps.

7. Nothing a lick of paint can't solve

Touching up your paint work is a great way to freshen up your home. When you’re choosing your paint colours, just remember to keep the sample pot of the colour you choose so that you can cover up scratches and other marks later.

8. Make a good first impression

Peeling exterior paintwork on your house doesn't look great and it can also let water into your home, which can be pricey to fix. Keep your outside paintwork in tip-top condition by investing in a small electric sander which will help make light work of prepping the wood to paint. 

9. Look after your tools

Tools can be expensive to buy but you can make them last for much longer by just taking a bit extra care of them. Keep them organised by putting them away in their correct place after every job. This helps keep everyone safe too, as even a tape measure can cause a nasty cut if it’s left out for someone to play with. Putting tools away will also ensure they are easy to find, saving time between jobs.

Another key time saver is remembering to keep battery operated tools charged so they're ready to use when you want to start the next job.

To avoid accidents, it’s important that you keep your sharp tools sharp. If your tools are blunt, more pressure is required, and this means that they can slip more easily.

10. Think ahead

Whatever job you're doing, be prepared and do your research before you begin so you know what you’re getting into.  It’s important to make sure you have the right tools and equipment before you begin.

You also need to know your limits – don't tackle anything that you aren't confident doing and if you get stuck, ask for help before you make the situation worse. You can find some short DIY videos, showing you how to tackle odd jobs around the house here.

  • There's more money saving ideas in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.