Working on your home can take up a lot of your time. If you want to wallpaper a room or install a new kitchen, you need to allow for the time required to get the job done properly. If you decide you’re going to do it yourself, you might be thinking of ways you can cut some corners and get the job done more quickly. After all, you could be leaving a room in your house unusable for as long as it takes you to finish. However, you need to be careful with how you choose to save time on your DIY projects. Some tricks are smart, delivering great results in less time. But other methods will have you wishing that you had taken your time instead. Here are some “do”s and “don’t”s for your next project.
Do: Get People to Help You Out
Many hands make light work, as they say. You might be planning to take on a project on your own, but before you go solo, think about whether it might be better with more people to help you. Even just one more set of hands to help you get everything done can make it all go much faster. You might ask some friends or family members to pitch in (in exchange for pizza and beer), or you could consider hiring a professional to help. If you want to get things down quickly without rushing too much, getting some help should make things easier.
Don’t: Have Too Many People Pitching In
On the other hands, there’s also such a thing as having too much help. It can be hard to coordinate everyone if there are a few of you. You could end up with inconsistent results if everyone is doing their own thing. If there are too many people, you could have less space to work and perhaps just be tripping over everyone. You don’t need five people to paint one room. Before you invite everyone you know to help you, think about how much help you really need. Some tasks only need one person to get them done, or maybe two if you want to go a little faster.
Do: Avoid Obsessing Over Small Details
If you’re a perfectionist, you might already be planning everything down to the last detail. It’s easy to get caught up in the details of what you’re doing, especially if you’re trying something new. You want to get it right and feel proud of what you’ve achieved. So even the smallest details seem extremely important, and you want to pay attention to each one. But if you spend too much time obsessing over details, you’re going to take a lot longer to finish your project. You can do a good job without taking a painstaking approach to every move you make.
Don’t: Do a Sloppy Job to Save Time
Finding a happy medium between going fast enough to save some time and slow enough to do the job right can be hard. However, just because you’re trying to avoid taking too much time, it doesn’t mean you should rush too much. There are some times when it’s appropriate to say “that will do” and other times when you should be more careful. If it’s a case of something looking obviously half-done or being structurally unsound, you need to spend more time working on it. Go slow enough to do the job right, but not so slowly that you’re wasting time.
Do: Look for the Right Tools
When you’re trying to get a job done more quickly, having the right tools can make a huge difference. With the correct equipment, you can make everything go faster without compromising on the quality of your results. For example, if you want to paint a room, fence or even a deck, you might plan to use brushes and paint rollers. But if you consider alternatives, you could pick up the best paint sprayer for the job. You’ll be able to cover larger areas and apply a more event coat of paint. If you want to sand something down, a sanding machine can help you do larger areas much faster than sanding by hand.
Don’t: Waste Time Using Tools You Don’t Need
Sometimes, you need a fancy piece of equipment to help you get the job done faster. On other occasions, you’ll simply be wasting time messing around with tools that aren’t necessary. What’s more, you might waste money buying or renting equipment that’s never of any use to you. Before you get any new tools, think about whether you really need them. Some equipment could take you long enough to master that you could have got the job done in the time you spent learning to use it. It’s not always the best choice to look for powerful tools to use, so don’t rush into buying or renting them.
Do: Keep Things Neat and Tidy
You might be surprised by the things that can slow you down when you’re trying to get a job done. If your workspace is cluttered, it can be difficult to do what you need to. You can have things getting in your way and tripping you up, which isn’t helpful if you want to work quickly. If you take a few minutes to tidy up after yourself each day, you’ll find it much easier to get straight to work, without anything getting in your way or making the job more difficult. Clean up as you go too so that you’re not faced with a big mess at the end of the day.
Don’t: Spend All Your Time Cleaning
Even though you should keep things neat and tidy, you also shouldn’t waste time on trying to be too neat. Any DIY job is going to create some mess, and you can’t clean it all up as you go along. If you try, you could end up spending more time stopping to wipe down splashes and sawdust than you do actually working. Protect anything you want to keep clean with sheets or plastic covers, and you won’t have to worry so much about everything being too messy.
Do: Be Well Prepared Before You Start
Any job will go much quicker if you know what you need to do before you get started. If you jump right in, anything you do might not have a whole lot of direction. You could end up going back on yourself or accidentally skipping stuff because you haven’t outlined your plan. Before you start working on your project, you should create a list of the steps you need to take in order. Make sure you have everything you need to so that you don’t waste time looking for things you need. It’s especially important to work quickly on some jobs, like when you’re using material that will set once you’ve applied it.
Don’t: Waste Time By Being Over-prepared
Although you should get ready before you start working, you don’t need to spend too much time preparing. If you obsess over what you need to do too much, you could end up putting off your DIY project for ages. Make sure you set a date and time for when you’re going to start so that waste all your time planning. If you spend too long thinking about which materials to use and what moves to make, all your free time could slip away from you.