Time to tackle some DIY?

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

If you’re not juggling working from home with homeschooling kids, you might have time on your hands for some home improvements

Not everyone has spare time to embark on new projects at the moment – in fact some people are working long shifts or trying to juggle childcare with their day job.

But many others are unable to work. For some furloughed homeowners, keeping safe indoors could offer time and space to sort those DIY jobs you’ve been meaning to get around to for a long time.

One tradesperson comparison site, HaMuch.com, has highlighted eight DIY jobs that can be easily done around the house; saving you over £1,000 in total by tackling them yourself.

Hinges – Saving: £30

Squeaky hinges might sound like a small job but it’s a perfect one to tackle in lockdown and whether it’s a door to the house or to a piece of furniture, they can be easily remedied with some WD-40.

However, even a replacement hinge is an easy place to start your DIY lockdown experience and a handyman or joiner would set you back £30 for the hours work of changing a few hinges, so it’s well worth it.

Flooring – Saving: £90

Whether you need flooring replaced or you just want to tackle a squeaky floorboard, it will cost you £30 an hour for a tradesperson with an average time of 3 hours to tackle one room. While replacing a whole floor is usually best left to the experts, squeaky floorboards can be cost-effectively tackled by sprinkling talcum powder, soapstone powder, or powdered graphite within the gaps between the boards.

A lick of paint – Saving: £192

One perfect job for some constructive family time is painting. It can take a professional a full day to paint a room properly at a cost of a couple of hundred pounds. But while you have free child labour and plenty of time on your hands, painting the house not only refreshes each room but can be done very cheaply for the cost of some brushes and paint.

Update your furniture – Saving: £27

It will take a professional about an hour or so to sand back wooden furniture to repaint it at a cost of £27 an hour. But for the cost of some sandpaper, elbow grease and a tin of paint, you can transform your tired wooden furniture into a fresh piece to suit the colour scheme of your home.

Wallpapering – Saving: £600

Much like painting, wallpapering a room can transform the look and feel and while a lengthy process, lockdown is the perfect time to tackle it. To have a room professionally stripped and re-done will cost £600 and while it may take you a fair while longer, it can be done by an amateur with a bit of practice for next to nothing.

Cleaning – Saving: £90

Lockdown has come at the perfect time for a good old spring clean, a task that would cost £19 per hour with an average of two to three hours for a modest house; setting you back up to £38. Again, there is no real skill involved and it can be done for the cost of some cleaning products.

Tiling – Saving: £100

Tiling an area of your bathroom is a slightly bigger job and one that can be tricky, but you can acquire the skills if you keep at it. At a cost of £50 per square metre, it will cost about £190 to have a professional re-tile half of the bathroom around the shower or bath area. Again, tackling it yourself will keep costs down to materials alone.

Tackle the garden – Saving: £174

Another springtime necessity after months of neglect over the winter, the garden is a great place to start your lockdown DIY while also getting out of the house and getting some fresh air. Hiring a gardener for just six hours will set you back as much as £174, so it’s well worth doing it yourself for the cost of some elbow grease.

Founder and CEO of HaMuch.com, Tarquin Purdie, said: “Like many sectors, tradespeople have been hit hard by the spread of the Coronavirus and are unable to go about their work due to the fact they can’t enter peoples homes at present. Of course, the silver lining for many homeowners is they now have plenty of time on their hands to tackle a whole host of jobs around the house and save money while doing so.

“This is particularly beneficial for those of us that can’t work and can give a real sense of achievement as well as some mental stimulation. Of course, we don’t advise that you attempt any jobs that need professional work such as electrics or gas, amongst other things.”

“While it may be tempting, the NHS is under enough strain without us filling waiting rooms due to DIY blunders and so if you feel a job is too dangerous or difficult, it’s well worth waiting until normality returns and you can get a skilled tradesperson in to do the job.”