Planning Your DIY Year Ahead

Forget resolutions you just can't keep, here at Topps Tiles we think the New Year is the perfect time to rethink your home décor.

You're full of the enthusiasm that comes with a fresh start, the inspiration to get your home up to scratch and ready for spring is all around you, and this is one resolution that's sure to give you results. But if you've got DIY on your mind, don't start anything without a plan!

1) First, take a tour of your home. Note down any ideas that strike you as you go, or anything that needs attention. We like Freshome's idea of making two columns - one for necessary items or DIY, such as sorting out damp, fixing a broken oven etc., then another column which should act as a 'wish list', containing things like 'upgrading to granite worktops'. Making this distinction, and having it written out in front of you, should make it much easier to prioritise your projects and will ensure the most important jobs are finished if you start running out of budget.

As you go around your home making notes, think about your reasons for improving your home. If you're hoping to sell it, be sure to focus on the areas potential buyers will be looking out for. You might find our post, Making the Most of Your Home, helpful in this respect. If you are revamping your home with a view to still living there in five years, you may want to allow yourself a larger budget than you would if you were simply making it more appealing to buyers.

2) Start searching for inspiration as soon as possible. Use magazines, Pinterest, or other people's houses - there's so much out there so enjoy feeding your creativity!

3) Be sure to get any permits you need as soon as possible. Your notes from the tour of your home should allow you to identify the projects you will need a permit for - which may include any electrical, structural or plumbing work - so get these sorted out now to avoid delays. Looking into permits will also help you identify when you need to get a professional in. We found this article about the misconceptions surrounding permits interesting and informative.

4) Be safe. Before you embark on any DIY project, big or small, be aware of the potential dangers and take any necessary precautions to avoid injuries. Follow the instructions on any power tools you use, and if in doubt about any techniques, watch online tutorials with professionals explaining how to approach the job.

5) Discuss any ideas with your partner or the rest of the family to ensure you're all clear on what the project will involve. You may want to agree the roles each of you will play in each project to ensure everyone's making the most of their skills.

Enjoy your home's beautiful new look!

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