Handling home improvements yourself can save you money, but it can also be dangerous. When tackling DIY projects, make sure you know what you’re doing and follow safety procedures. If you aren’t confident that you can handle something yourself or don’t have necessary safety equipment, hire a contractor.
Dress for the Job
Wear appropriate clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work boots, goggles and gloves. Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing that could get caught on something while you are working. If you have long hair, tie it back. If there is a chance that an object above your work area could fall, wear a hard hat.
Prepare Your Tools
Verify that the tools you need are in proper working order before you get started. Make sure blades and drill bits are sharp so you won’t have to use extra force and wind up injuring yourself.
Before you use a tool, be sure that you know how to operate it. If you have any doubts, consult a reliable source. Read the owner’s manual, ask someone to show you or watch an online tutorial. Don’t guess or try to figure it out on your own.
Place a ladder on a flat, sturdy and dry surface and ask someone to hold it for you. When working on a ladder, keep your weight centered. Don’t lean too far to the side or climb on the top two rungs. Don’t climb on a roof if it has a steep pitch or if it is raining, snowing or windy.
Working with electricity and gas can be extremely dangerous. Don’t attempt those types of projects unless you know what you’re doing. Before working on a circuit, turn off the power. If you need to work on gas pipes, apply a mixture of soap and water to connections first. If you see bubbles, that indicates that there is a gas leak.
If you need to use chemicals, read the instructions and warnings on the label. Ventilate the area and wear a mask when working with chemicals or working in dusty conditions. Don’t combine chemicals because that could create toxic fumes.
If you need to move a heavy object, bend at your knees and lift with your legs to avoid straining your back. Ask someone to help you if necessary.
Keep the Work Area Clean
Pick up wood scraps, nails and other forms of trash and discard them. Sweep the floor from time to time to get rid of dust and debris. Keep tools in designated areas and make sure that cords don’t get tangled up or strewn on the floor where they can create a tripping hazard.
Put Safety First
Only attempt home repairs or renovations if you know what you’re doing. Conduct research or ask for help if you aren’t sure and keep a fire extinguisher and first aid kit nearby.