DIY or Call a Professional?
It would be handy if essential DIY skills were taught in schools, but most of us pick up our knowledge from friends, relatives, TV programmes and, sadly, bitter experience. There are plenty of projects that you can safely tackle at home, but there are some that are best left to the professionals. A number of factors will affect whether you reach for your toolbox or the phone number of a local tradesman.
Wiring a plug, changing a fuse or bleeding a radiator are simple jobs to carry out yourself. More complex tasks such as laying laminate flooring or wiring in Crabtree grid switches are perfectly manageable with the correct information. There are hundreds of how-to books and videos available, making DIY easier than ever before. However, some jobs may be beyond all but the most enthusiastic amateur. Certain tasks, such as installing perfectly level worktops, require a high level of skill that takes time to develop, so are best left to those who have had years of practice.
There are some home improvements that can only be carried out by a professional. Many plumbing and heating jobs must be carried out by a Gas Safe (formerly CORGI) registered plumber. Any substantial electrical work will require a safety certificate provided by an electrician. Not only should contractors have the correct qualifications, but they should also have valid insurance and ideally be a member of a professional guild.
Time and money are the key issues here. If you are at work all week then spending your weekend on DIY might be the last thing you feel like doing. Alternatively, you might find it a fun hobby and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from completing a task yourself. Hiring a professional is a good idea if you simply don't have the spare time or inclination for a project. Carrying out work yourself is usually, although not always, cheaper. You may need to hire specialist tools that can push up the cost of the work. And bear in mind that if things go wrong, a project can end up costing you far more to put right than you would have spent on paying somebody else to do it in the first place.
From tiling a bathroom to installing Crabtree grid switches, there are a whole host of household tasks that are perfect for the DIY enthusiastic. However, to keep you and your home safe it is vital to know when it's time to call in the professionals.