It was a bit of a baptism of fire for me, my first DIY project was working with oak beams and putting down some wooden flooring. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, why would I start with something that was obviously so difficult to do? Well the short answer is money. Having recently moved in to a new home the wooden flooring needed renovation because the old one had began to deteriorate and would soon need replacing, so rather than pay a tradesman which would have been beyond our budget at the time, I decided that I would have a go myself and fixing the oak floor and save us a bit of money in the process too.
So what challenges did working with oak beams bring me?
Well the short answer is quite a few actually. Aside from not having the skills to fix the beams to the floor securely, I wasn’t sure where to source the wood in the beginning so I got these from here www.iwood.co.uk/beams/32/oak-european/. The next challenge was learning how to actually do arguably the most crucial part and that was the actual flooring. Now I must confess, I was no stranger to a hammer and nails but that was pretty much the full extent of my experience, the rest I had to learn as I went on.
Now I learned how to do most of what I did from youtube videos, there’s so many good resources out there that will teach you how to do pretty much any DIY job that you desire. So if you’re working on a similar project to what I was, then just type ‘how to do wooden flooring’ into Youtube and you’ll find more information than you could ever possibly need?
Now, I’m not going to claim that I didn’t make mistakes, when you’re learning any new skill like this, you’re always going to make mistakes because that’s part of the learning process. I wasted a fair bit of wood at first but I still made a big saving by doing things myself. The truth is that I was in way over my head at first but with a little persistence I was able to get the job done!
Much like exercising the most daunting part of DIY do it yourself jobs are getting started. If you look at the tasks ahead of you as one big problem then it’s all too easy to become put off by it, if instead you break what you’re facing into smaller manageable chunks then you will often find the task at hand to be not so bad. Basically what I’m suggesting is that any pre-existing stigmas that you may have about not doing DIY yourself are purely mental and can be overcome with a little practice and a good bit persistence too.
How to actually do DIY and what you’ll need
Getting started in DIY its-self isn’t that hard really, I wouldn’t recommend going out and getting a huge range of expensive equipment that you’ll probably never need or even use. Instead I would buy things as the need for them arises, for example when I got started in all of this, I didn’t even own my own saw, instead I borrowed one from a generous neighbor. By approaching things in this way, you not only save yourself procrastination but you also keep costs down. The truth is DIY is about a lot of improvisation and making do with what you have, you may have spare woods like oak etc laying around the house from another job or piece of furniture that is no longer needed, this can make perfect timber for the job at hand!
Another good way to approach things is to only do work as the need arises. Now that may seem pretty self evident and an obvious thing to say but if you start a project that there’s no real need for and you’re mind isn’t in it, you can all too easily lose motivation and end up giving in, I’ve seen it far too many times!
Will you need wood work and plumbing skills?
The answer to this question is and interesting one, the answer is no, not unless you’re called upon to use them. It goes back to what I was saying earlier about only learning and using skills as you need them. I didn’t start out thinking, ‘right I must learn everything about plumbing’, however when the need arose to mend a broken pipe, through using the internet and blogs like this, I was able to learn a new skill.