Home improvement is a popular do-it-yourself activity. The desire to avoid a prolonged wait for a contractor, the expected high cost of paying someone for the work, and the need to get things just right are just a few of the reasons why many homeowners attempt to take on home improvement projects themselves. And in many cases, it works out just as they planned.
As you consider such a project, you will do a lot of research and planning to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Many homeowners focus completely on getting materials and techniques taken care of, but they often underestimate the importance of having the right tools.
The typical household job only requires a few standard tools, but you shouldn’t let that distort your expectations. The more specialized the work becomes, the more important it is to have specialized tools.
DIY’ers often make the mistake of trying to improvise instead of getting the real tools. They prefer not to buy a tool they’ll only use for a couple of days, and they may not have anywhere to rent or borrow it. So they’ll try to do very specialized work with very generalized tools, and they’ll often find themselves wasting time, damaging materials, or even getting hurt in the process.
The best advice anyone can get is to spend the money it takes to get the right tools for the job. And if that cost is too high, hire someone to do it. You can’t work on hardwood flooring with a regular carpenter’s hammer. The only way to straighten tongue and groove flooring is to have a tool made to do exactly that.
And it isn’t just with finish materials where this advice will hold true. One thing that you never want to take chances with is water. That goes for water in pipes as well as water in the environment.
If you’re attempting a roof repair, be sure to get quality tar paper, shingles, nails, flashing, gutters, and all the other essentials. Skimping on the materials could make your fix temporary at best. But more important than that is the right tools. Make sure you can properly cut and install all the materials you have safely and efficiently. Rent the nail gun if that’s what it takes to get the work finished before the weather gets bad. You’ll be glad you did.
As for other water, you are really in a dangerous position if you attempt to do plumbing on the cheap. Water is persistent. It doesn’t give up on your seal if there isn’t a leak right away. Instead, its pressure continues to attack your work days, weeks, and even years later. And when it finally does force its way out, it could leave you with structural damage, a big plumbing bill, and even an oversized water bill.
Because the potential cost for a poor job of pipe repair can be huge, then, it’s very important to use the right tools and materials for any work you take on with the plumbing in your home.
The same goes for electricity. Hacking around on insulation with a knife instead of a true wire stripper can cause damage to the copper itself, letting it eventually break the wire and cause a fire. Your home could easily become a statistic, all because you hated to shell out another $10 for a tool.
Do-it-yourself work is incredibly rewarding. There’s no better feeling than avoiding a big bill and getting the work done just the way you want it. But more important than the design or the materials is the tools you use for the work. That is the real secret to home improvement.