Your Investment Property asked leading reno expert Cherie Barber to answer your questions on renovations. This month Cherie tackles questions on DIY renovations and how to find the best tradies.
DIY WANNABE RENOVATOR
Question: I’m not really a handyman, but I want to learn how to do things well. So what jobs could you teach yourself when renovating? Could you learn how to do tiling or painting perhaps?
Answer: In principle, anyone can potentially don a paintbrush or roller and slap some paint on walls. But the question is: do you have the patience and skill to do a quality job? It might look like an easy task, but I’ve seen first hand the results of a shoddy paint job, with uneven coverage, colours bleeding into each other, paint drips everywhere, and the telltale signs of poor preparation. In fact, properly preparing the surfaces for painting is one of keys to a really professional-looking job.
Gloss paint shows up every tiny flaw, so if you’re using it on timberwork where holes and gashes haven’t been filled, and layers of old paint haven’t been sanded to a smooth surface, it’s going to look like a backyard botched. Likewise, plaster walls need careful patching and sanding so you have a smooth surface for the paint. This is all the tedious preparation work you need to do before the creative paint job begins, especially if it’s an older property where the walls and timberwork are showing their age.
So, yes, in theory you could certainly teach yourself to paint, and it’s probably one of the most common DIY tasks people do to save money, but you must be prepared to take the time needed to do a meticulous job. And remember to always buy quality paintbrushes, rollers and paint. If you buy the cheap stuff, you’ll just end up making the job harder than it needs to be and use far more paint than you need to get proper coverage.
Tiling requires a lot more skill, materials and tools, for getting surfaces level, getting your run of tiles straight, avoiding tile wastage by knowing the best placement and cuts for tiles… While plenty of experienced DIYers take on tiling, if you’re a self-professed ‘DIY wannabe’, it could be a dangerous place to start and a very expensive experiment for beginners. Maybe master the painting first