Home Forums House & Home Have you saved yourself time and money by learning...

  • Have you saved yourself time and money by learning some practical DIY skills?

    DIY skills can include everything from learning how to hang a picture, through to learning how to cut your own hair. Learning these skills can not only save you time and money, but it can also be fun and rewarding.

    Has anyone been able to save themselves time and money by learning some new DIY skills? If so what are they? And how did you go about learning these skills?

    Posted by Elise
    • Reply by mark-e-mark

      Funnily enough, Elise – I used a trick mentioned in the Rest Less “tips and tricks” article last night. A few weeks ago, I put a massive scratch in the wooden floor in our hall when moving a heavy box which happened to have a staple sticking out. I rubbed the scratch with a walnut as advised – whilst it’s not covered up the worst parts of the scratch, there are a couple of areas where it’s actually now less noticeable!

    • Reply by alisona30

      I have, I’ve been a painter & decorator for 21 years 🤗

    • Reply by LeighS

      Does learning how to replace a hard drive in a desktop computer count? In order to know how to do it I had use another computer to access the internet and also order a new hard drive. We have a saying in our household “You need a computer to fix a computer”!!!

      Fortunately the way the computer was set up the data was on one hard drive and the operating system on the other and it was the one with operating system that failed. The other saving grace about that particular incident was that I do regularly back up all the data, so even if the data drive had failed I would have only lost a little bit. I wouldn’t say it was fun, but it did save me money.

      • Reply by CELIA

        Gosh thats impressive, i still cant figure out how to make my yoga teacher hear me on ZOOM classes, I am not on mute, honest

        • Reply by LeighS

          I am still trying to figure out Zoom and Windows 10 🙂

        • Reply by Marica

          I think you have passed the Computer bit with flying colours already, Leigh , never mind Zoom !

        • Reply by LeighS

          Thanks for the vote of confidence 🙂

        • Reply by Itsgoodtotalk

          Try typing in ‘microphone’ on your computer’s search or settings, to make sure it is on.

      • Reply by E-man

        Actually it’s not too difficult to change things like a video card on my PC .Remove cover ,unscrew card and replace . I many cases people are afraid they will ruin their PC whereas sometimes it costs nearly as much as a cheap laptop for repairs .

    • Reply by CELIA

      I have emulsion painted my bedroom, never painted indoors before I was widowed, only painted shed and fence. Feeling quite smug

      • Reply by ArtyFartyAngie

        Well done. It can be quite daunting just thinking about it. But YouTube can be a great tool for watching little videos and building confidence. 😊.

        • Reply by Itsgoodtotalk

          To be honest, I managed to build a house using the internet, visiting building sites and reading books.

      • Reply by jao10

        Good for you. It always helps with our wellbeing and self esteem when we have learnt a new skill.

      • Reply by Marica

        That is brilliant ,Celia. My lounge needs doing but I cant face it , and apparently decorators are booked up for months!

      • Reply by SH

        That’s great, I painted the kitchen (first time I’ve painted a complete room) which was daunting to start with, can’t say it was a brilliant job but pleased I done it.

    • Reply by CELIA

      I have also bought a light weight electric drill/screwdriver and put some new hangers in the understairs cupboard.

    • Reply by Julespoppy01-

      I’d like to learn some hair cutting and colouring skills

      • Reply by Ana. 2020

        I would like that as well. I usually get my hair done with organic products dyes at the salon. But i am really up to learn to do it myself.

      • Reply by Marica

        Same here. It was a teenage dream of mine to have hairdressing as a second skill but wanted to become a Personnel officer , Just a bit different! So I never did hair but now feel that it would be a good interest

    • Reply by Optimistic

      I certainly have, I have managed to take the carpet up and sand down the floorboards in my bedroom then paint it from it from top to bottom… very tiring but totally satisfying

      • Reply by Ana. 2020

        Amazing

        • Reply by Optimistic

          Thank you especially as I am in my 60’s lol

    • Reply by Anonymous User

      As kids we had to help mum with the wallpapering… Cleaning the glue off the paper and holding the bottom of the roll. Since then i reckon my savings are in the thousands as ive renovated 13 houses and done all the decorating.

      • Reply by Itsgoodtotalk

        Its all about confidence and pushing oneself.

      • Reply by Optimistic

        Wow what an achievement

        • Reply by Anonymous User

          thank you but thats the way it goes in life sometimes. Thought I’d done with decorating but just bought a bolt hole in the country and…you’ve guessed it…more decorating. 70 this year.

    • Reply by Flame17

      As I am no longer able to wallpaper, paint, tile, and do odd jobs around the house I have gone back to knitting and made 9 jumpers for presents.

    • Reply by Anonymous User

      I’m really keen to learn how to cut mitres. It’s a skill which somehow defeats me. I understand the theory, have watched countless you tube videos but think I need to find a class so that I can practice. Or find someone willing to teach me. It’s my challenge to myself for 2021.

      • Reply by Itsgoodtotalk

        Obviously depending what you are cutting, but the easiest way to cut your angles is to buy a cheap Mitre block, they are ideal and very easy to use.

      • Reply by Anonymous User

        Yeh… Me too… Im a pretty good DIY ‘er from concreting, brick laying to decorating but mitering… Well, i think im mitering dyslexic.

      • Reply by Renoir64

        I’m just the same. I’m firmly of the opinion that it has something to do with my inability to convert 2 dimensional images into 3 dimensional shapes.
        My wife is, well, absolutely amazing at such things.
        So it’s how my brain is wired I suspect.

      • Reply by Marica

        I did a picture framing course many years ago and learnt there how to do mitres on a frame. not easy but gets better with practice,. of course I rarely out it to good use once the course stopped so now I would have no idea

    • Reply by Anonymous User

      Thank you. My problem is figuring out which direction to make the cuts! I tend to get the angle wrong and waste wood! I think I’m missing a bit of my brain that could work that out.

      • Reply by Itsgoodtotalk

        Yes I know what you are saying, so the best way to get around that is to draw a pencil line (angle direction) on the piece of wood you are about to cut.

      • Reply by Summerhouse 21

        Hi, you can buy mitre cutters.

    • Reply by Ucheju

      Hi, interestingly I’m a space manager which means I design and work with architects, builders, etc but having moved homes late November, I have had to assemble ALL the furniture myself (with some help from my 18yrs old daughter) as installers kept giving us the runaround – sofa, tables, chairs, beds, drawers, shelves, everything. The most hilarious was both of us carrying my partially orthopedic mattress up the stairs… it fell on us at one point and we just sat on the stairs and laugh-cried ourselves back to action!… but we got it all done and now having a holiday!… Here’s a sneak-peek 🙈😀

      Attachments:
      • Reply by Somethingshort

        Well done…..for involving your daughter as well. Super achievement. I know that story….the mattress on the stairs…. and it becomes hilarious.

        • Reply by Ucheju

          Tell me about it… quite hilarious..

        • Reply by Marica

          You are my heroine! Goodness, I would have given up and called the DIY guys in

        • Reply by Ucheju

          Awww, thank you so much… I work in my passion..I’m a Space Manager and I quite enjoy assembling furniture…the joy is in the finished work…call me if ever you need any help…:-) (https://linktr.ee/thewellbeingc )

      • Reply by loislane

        Looks fantastic, great job done.

        • Reply by Ucheju

          Thank you…the extended lockdown allowed for a few updates to the setting…thankfully i will be going back to designing people’s homes so mine can have a much needed break from me…and my daughter as well…LOL!…

      • Reply by SH

        Amazing, you are an inspiration

    • Reply by ArtyFartyAngie

      Looks cracking! Well done to you and your daughter. Not only is she learning practical skills with you but probably the biggest lessons are to laugh at yourself when it doesn’t go to plan and learn by ‘adopting, adapting and improving’.

      • Reply by Ucheju

        Ooo true… Thank you Angie… 😀

    • Reply by Itsgoodtotalk

      Definitely, although building my house took 8 years can you imagine what I saved in labour.
      Fortunately I enjoy doing lots of things and have an eye for it.

      • Reply by Itsgoodtotalk

        My house

        Attachments:
        • Reply by Somethingshort

          That looks impressive I must say. Tell me…….what started the thought in the first place. What triggered it…….

      • Reply by loislane

        Brilliant

    • Reply by Clubbyman

      You learn from experience. Both my late parents were practiced in the part but I have sort advice and watched as many others as I could. Saved a fortune over the years. Always happy to pass on information.

      • Reply by Marica

        I agree about practice but I have found now I am on my own , having not done much in DIY since my 20’s when I decorated my first flat , I have lost a lot of confidence,. My second husband , when I asked him to show me simple things like drilling holes in walls, was very reluctant and said he thought “women and power tools did not mix”! Rather chauvinist , but that was that . Now I feel at aoss but also realise nothing is impossible if you have the confidence, I just lost mine!

        • Reply by Somethingshort

          Oh Marcia, I identify with that. I love D.I.Y. now. I’m always dabbling with something but my Mum and Dad for whatever reason always told me that it just “wasn’t for girls”. I can’t learn enough these days…..but it helps to have confidence and energy.

    • Reply by Zilla

      Have to mention my husband. He worked in IT for 44 years and at weekends he worked on our self build house. We sold that and retired to a smaller more rural home. It is an ugly 1980’s bungalow with amazing views. So we started renovating/remodelling it. First quote for 2 x oak gable ends was £14K! So hubby, bless him, bought a book, watched numerous youtube videos bought a chain morticer, two ‘slicks’ and taught himself how to be an oakwright!!! hes built 3 full height ( 6 M high) oak gables now and 6 frames. Theyre amazing! such an achievement not to mention saving money!!!

      Attachments:
      • Reply by Marica

        That is so impressive!

      • Reply by loislane

        Very impressive as Marica said

    • Reply by Itsgoodtotalk

      These builders quote are extortionate, I’m sure they just make them up and hope some unsuspecting victim will agree.

      • Reply by Somethingshort

        I began to think a few years ago that builders were running the country……I quite agree on that.

      • Reply by Anonymous User

        Just want to put in a word for the good guys. (Builders) We have used a local one for all our renovations over the last 3 years. His quotes are not cheap (everyone is entitled to make a decent living) but his work is high quality and his invoices match his quotes.

    • Reply by Summerhouse 21

      Yes, I have transformed all my pine furniture into white shabby chic pieces, using chalk paint and glue on decorative details.

    • Reply by Sanden54

      I was ready to pay someone to paint my maisonette but thanks to the lockdown did it myself. It took a long time and the rest of the place looked like a bomb hit it. I felt relieved a while ago when I decided that was enough .But now i have to clear the place up sorting out endless papers and reorganising furniture etc

    • Reply by Anonymous User

      I made raised beds for my garden. Used electric saw, drill and screwdriver for the first time. I watched YouTube videos for instructions.

    • Reply by Brad_66

      I’ve just bought a house, so up for any DIY tips 🤦‍♂️

    • Reply by Renoir64

      Well I’ve fitted 3 different kitchens in 2 different houses.
      I’ve fitted wooden floors.
      I refitted the bathroom.
      I’ve put drainage in the garden that sits on heavy clay.
      Just one of the kitchen saved me at least £10 000.
      That’s a lot of bags of haribro.

    • Reply by 92smoothy

      Over the last 10 years I’ve taught myself everything from laying concrete to building a kitchen table out of scaffolding planks

    • Reply by Kayze

      I learnt to do some basic upholstery. I bought a stapler and some fire retardant filling. And, hey presto! I have a new headboard. I also started to grow my own fruit and vegetables.

    • Reply by mickleness

      Love the answers to a good question. I had a good start as a decorator in my 20’s but never really tried more DIY until I purchased my first house 2.5 yrs ago. I have removed the bricks in one of the fire places and set some at 45 degrees at the back ready for a log burner. raked out old pointing in the side wall and spent 2 months repointing with lime mix. After I was charged £400 by a plumber for servicing the boiler and moving a radiator, I decided I could do plumbing and installed a new toilet and 2 radiators, did more pipe work and nothing leaked. Taken door frames out, plaster boarded and skimmed several walls to a nice enough finish to paper. Built up a fire place and rendered. replaced rotten floor boards, installed a mains door bell, modern internet light switch, new light fitting, new sockets (to be checked by a qualified electrician but you can do the work yourself)….the jobs continue. I am putting a stud wall upstairs and creating a new bathroom with sound insulation.

      Attachments:
    • Reply by E-man

      Hardly worth replying as most of these posts are so old . DIY is logical . ” Just do it “

      • Reply by loislane

        It isn’t logical for most. I can paint fairly well, but I wouldn’t hang wallpaper, or put up a shelf

    • Reply by rutherford.jimmy

      I love DIY and will try anything, ive fitted kitchens, bathrooms, tiling, woodworking all mostly from watching people do it. I also do jobs for people that cannot do them for basic costs so its a double whammy….i get to do what i enjoy and they get a good job

    • Reply by loislane

      No, probably never will

    • Reply by Renoir64

      This question is really good. It got me thinking.
      We’ve fitted 3 kitchens in 2 different houses including 1 totally from scratch.
      Always done our own painting inside and out
      I learnt how to repair computers after watching a tech man replace 2 sticks of memory and charge me £30 for his time
      We’ve tiled bathrooms and floors.
      This winter we totally relaid a 30 metre path in the garden and then I made a base for a 2nd greenhouse that I dismantled from somewhere else and reassembled.
      This question has really got me thinking.
      No wonder I had to have one of knees replaced.

Add