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10 Steps To DIY Success and The Tools You'll need

AS Covid19 rumbles on, home improvements are high on the nation's agenda for the year ahead. In fact, a survey by trade and DIY supplier, SGS Engineering reveals that 79% of homeowners have at least 1 property improvement project on their:- 'to do' list for the year ahead.  Manchester is the DIY capital, with 88% stating their intentions to tackle home improvements this year. London (87%), Glasgow (86%), Bristol (81%), and Nottingham (79%) made up the top 5.  Top rooms that Brits are looking to redo include:- the kitchen (16%) and the bathroom (15%). 1 in 10 (10%) said they are planning a home office conversion project this year. 32% said they have committed to doing more DIY because they have been spending more time around their house and have seen jobs that they want fixing. 1 in 4 people, that is 25%, have been inspired by seeing inspirational home imagery on social media, while 27% said that watching Grand Designs and similar home shows on TV had influenced their DIY projects. But while enthusiasm may be running high, if you've never tackled a DIY project before where do you start? Dave Gordon, General Manager at SGS Engineering explains:- "It's incredibly satisfying to fix something up or make something from scratch, but doing it well isn't easy. The trick with DIY is to start small, make sure you have the right tools; and know how to use them, and ask for help if you need it. Practice makes perfect too, so keep trying things and you'll see that your confidence and skills do improve."

10 Steps to DIY Success For Beginners:-

1. Keep a list of all the DIY projects you want to do. Try to order these by complexity if you can.

2. Get yourself some DIY books; such as the Collins Complete DIY Manual; and bookmark pages or sections that correspond with your projects.

3. Start small; change a light bulb, tighten door hinges, put together some basic flat pack furniture together etc. Don't be tempted to go too ambitious at 1st!

4. Look at YouTube for DIY guides; people with at least 50,000 subscribers tend to have the most useful content. But, please remember the if they are not in the UK, check that the things they suggest you do are allowed in the UK, for example electrical DIY work, before you start. Also, remember some things are not the same, such as the voltage, for example the National Grid distributes electricity to your house at 240v bit the us is 110v, also the amperage be very different for mains supply.

5. Get comfortable with key tools:- screws, hammers, spirit levels etc. Practice hammering in nails, drilling in screws etc. using a piece of scrap wood. It'll help you feel less nervous when it comes to doing it for real on your wall.   Don't worry, you will not have to:- "Feel the DIY tool, caress the DIY tool until it's a living, breathing, vibrating extension of yourself..."  Sorry, bad rip off of Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry's line, in Police Academy, but you get the idea.

6. As you move down your DIY to do list, choose projects that are a bit more of a challenge, but are still relatively low risk. For example, hanging a picture or painting a wall; if they don't work out as you'd hoped, it's fairly quick and easy to fix.

7. For any more complex projects, make sure you do a project plan before you start. List each part of the job, what you need to practice, what you need to buy etc.

8. If you know someone who is good at DIY, ask them to supervise you (even if it is via a video call) as you tackle a new skill or an unfamiliar job. It's reassuring to have someone experienced offering a bit of advice when you need it most.

9. For bigger jobs, have a backup plan and know your limits. Contact a recommended plumber, electrician, or a builder before you start. If you don't know anyone, sites that Chekatrade can be useful at finding people with good review. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting professional help when you need it, and it's better to call in the experts before you knock down a wall or create a lot of mess that could be costly to fix.

10. As with anything, to get better at being handy, you'll need to keep practicing! Keep updating your to-do list, ticking off jobs and adding useful notes or tips for the future.

10 Basic Tools You'll Need To Get Started:-

1. Work gloves

2. A select of screwdrivers

3. A claw hammer

4. A utility knife

5. A handsaw

6. A spirit level

7. A pair of pliers

8. A measuring tape

9. A toolbox or bag

10. A cordless drill

There is more information on why you need each of these tools, how much they typically cost, and what to use them for here.

Dave Gordon, General Manager at SGS Engineering added:- "Being 'handy' can feel like something that other people are just naturally good at, but the truth is that even the most avid DIYers had to start somewhere, and they've built up their skills over time. Remember to plan ahead and be patient. Good luck!"

Work begins on repairing Southport's historic Hesketh Park conservatory with ₤22,000 grant from the Culture Recovery Fund

REPAIR work is now underway at Hesketh Park's historic Conservatory after Sefton Council's Green Sefton team secured a ₤22,000 grant from the Government's Culture Recovery Fund. A local contractor, overseen by a specialist conservation architect, has started work on site this week which will include assessing and repairing the overall cast iron structure, mending leaks to the roof and replacing broken windows. The Grade II listed structure, which has stood in the park since 1878, has deteriorated in recent years as a result of water damage. The Council has been looking at opportunities to fund short term repairs alongside long term plans to restore the entire Conservatory.  Grants from the Culture Recovery Fund, administered on be½ of the Government by Historic England, are designed to protect heritage sites and ensure that jobs and access to culture and heritage in local communities are protected, despite the Pandemic.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:- "Hesketh Park is just 1 of our many beautiful outdoor spaces that the Green Sefton team, along with the valued help of dedicated volunteers, work hard all year round to maintain and improve. I'm really pleased to see that work has now begun on making essential repairs to the building, and that this signifies just the beginning of a journey to fully restore this historic Conservatory."

Longer term plans will be developed, as further funding is sourced, to restore the building and bring it back into public use. Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:- "These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture in our towns and cities. We're protecting heritage and culture in every corner of the country to save jobs and ensure it's there for future generations to enjoy."

Duncan Wilson, Historic England Chief Executive, said:- "Historic places across the country are being supported by the Government's grants awarded under the Culture Recovery Fund. This funding is a lifeline which is kick starting essential repairs and maintenance at many of our most precious historic sites, so they can begin to recover from the damaging effects of Covid19. It is also providing employment for skilled craft workers who help keep historic places alive and the wheels of the heritage sector turning. Our shared heritage is an anchor for us all in these challenging times and this funding will help to ensure it remains part of our collective future."

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