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Some top tips from the professionals
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Some top tips from the professionals

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  • 1. Some top tips from the pros
  • 2. We've been talking to the professionals and asking them to contribute one tip they think would be useful to DIY-ers. Everyone seemed to have something to offer, so here are the tips we collected. We hope they're useful to you. Always fully unravel an extension cable No matter how long you need it to be, you should always fully unravel your extension cables as they can get hot and melt. Not only could you ruin your extension cable this way, but it could cause a fire. I've known this happen several times during my career as a builder so it's not a rare occurrence. Look after your tools Decent tools aren't cheap and I've learnt the hard way by ruining plenty over the years! Always keep them clean, take extra time to maintain them, spray hand tools with oil and wrap them in an oily rag. Always know where they are, I've left several on site or left them outside and they've been ruined. Have a designated tool storage area for each job and you're less likely to use them or have an accident tripping over them.
  • 3. Finish one job before you start the next It can be tempting to start a new job before another one is finished but that way you can end up with a house that's full of half- finished projects. Unless something is urgent, like a burst pipe or something that's a potential fire hazard, make sure you finish one job before you start the next or you'll end up with so many unfinished jobs you won't feel like doing any of them. Don't be scared to try DIY Obviously some jobs need a professional, but for a small job like putting up a shelf or tiling a small kitchen splash back, you really can do as good a job yourself if you take your time and are careful about it. At the end of the day, as long as you take the right safety precautions there's not that much that can go wrong. If for example your tiling turns out to be a disaster, as professional will be able to put it right for you, but you'll most likely manage it yourself anyway.
  • 4. When it comes to materials don't buy too much or too little Measure up carefully and calculate how much you need. Work out how many rolls of wallpaper you need and how many tiles or litres of paint, then double check! Buying too much is a waste of money, buy too few and you could find the shop has no more left when you go back. Don't forget to buy extra in case you make a mistake. Cutting porcelain floor tiles for example can be tricky so you should buy plenty extra so you can afford to make some mistakes. Buy decent power tools You're often better off paying a little more for power tools. Cheap tools just don't have the power and robustness needed. Spend a bit more and look after them and they should last you a long time.
  • 5. Plan and prepare Don't start a job until you've fully planned it out and know exactly what you're doing. You could easily make a mistake that would be costly to put right, and you can easily injure yourself if you don't know what you're doing. Time spent in preparation is time well spent. If you wish to find out more please see http://www.hss.com/