If there’s one thing the internet has been responsible for arguably above anything else, it’s encouraging people to DIY. Whether that’s making your own beauty products, your own wedding decorations, or renovating your entire house— the internet loves a DIY effort. With sites like YouTube and Pinterest full to bursting with DIY tips and strategies, it’s no surprise that more and more people are choosing to give things a go for themselves rather than outsourcing to the professionals.
When it comes to renovating a house, DIY methods have always been popular. The reason for this is easy to identify; ultimately, it all comes down to cost. When you outsource the cost of renovating or improving your home, you can halve the amount you’ll need to spend by choosing to DIY rather than hire in a professional. For most cash-strapped families, that sounds like a pretty good deal; sure, the finish won’t be quite as good, but that’s a price worth paying if it means you save a bundle on the actual work.
For the most part, these DIY efforts — aided by internet help guides and instructional videos — can go pretty well. However, there is one room that is a very different proposition when it comes to DIY renovating your home: the kitchen.
Why is the kitchen so difficult to DIY?
The kitchen is by far the most dangerous room in the house. Renovating a kitchen means dealing with at least three areas that have the potential to cause real problems: gas pipes, electrics, and water pipes. This means that DIY renovating of a kitchen is always going to be hazardous, even for the most experienced and enthusiastic of amateurs.
- DIY renovations tend to take longer than standard renovations. While that’s fine if you’re renovating the spare bedroom, it’s less fine if it takes you weeks to renovate your kitchen. You will need to devise a strategy for how you are going to store and prepare food throughout the renovation process.
- Finally, the kitchen is frequently described as the most important part of the house when it comes to resale value. As a result, there’s a high requirement to get your kitchen renovations right— because this is the room where it’s going to be most obvious if there is an issue.
So, DIY renovating your kitchen is always going to be tough. If the above has put you off, then fair enough. However, if you’re determined to continue and DIY renovate your kitchen, then here’s what you’re going to need to get through the process…
#1 – Patience
You have to be patient if you’re going to renovate your kitchen, and this patience takes many forms. You’re going to have to be patient while the work is going on and you don’t have access to your usual cooking equipment; you’re going to have to be patient while you consider the many different kitchen sinks, wall tiles, and countertops available for you to choose from; and you’re going to have to be patient while you wait for all the numerous fixtures and fittings you need to complete the work to arrive. If you’re not a particularly patient person, then DIY renovating your kitchen is going to take a huge toll on your frustration levels.
#2 – The ability to put your safety above finances
A lot of the work of renovating a kitchen can be performed by someone with medium-to-good DIY skills. You can lay the floor, hang your new kitchen wall units, and even install your countertops if the layout is relatively simple. However, there are some areas that you should definitely not be attempting to DIY. Any work that involves electrics, plumbing, or gas supply is a job for the pros. While it might be cheaper to do it yourself — and you’ll almost certainly be able to find online guides that claim to be able to coach you through the process “safely” — you have to be willing to make smart decisions here. Yes, contracting a pro is more expensive, but maintaining your own safety, health and wellbeing is far more important. If you think you might be tempted to DIY these potentially-hazardous areas, then you’re probably better off choosing not to DIY at all— it’s just not worth the potential risk.
#3 – A much higher budget than you think you need
Let’s say you decide it’s going to cost you £5,000 to renovate your kitchen. That sounds like a fairly decent number; it’s enough to buy all the materials you need, and you’ve ensured to include a small fund for contingencies.
Here’s the thing, though: that budget isn’t going to be enough. In fact, it could be £15,000 and it still wouldn’t be enough.
Why is this the case? Because budgeting asks you to be optimistic. When you sit down to set out what you want to spend in each area, then you’ll likely add in what you think it will cost in the absolute best case scenario. However, when you’re DIY renovating, the chances of you being able to achieve the best case scenario in every case are… well, extremely unlikely. Things are going to go wrong, supplies are going to be broken, and you’re likely going to find you’ve just outright bought the wrong thing at times too.
So when you have a budget in mind, then add half as much again. So your £5,000 budget becomes £7,5000. This should provide a true budget that you can actually work within, and which has plenty of space in it for you to manoeuvre if an aspect of your renovation doesn’t entirely go as planned.
It is possible for you to DIY renovate the vast majority — though not all! — of your kitchen. However, it’s important that you are very cautious about how you proceed, and that you understand the process won’t necessarily be as straightforward and simple as online help guides might lead you to believe. If you have the above three attributes, then chances are your DIY renovation will go as well as can be expected— good luck!
This is a collaborative post.