8 Reasons to do a DIY course, right now!

DIY Course

8 Reasons to do a DIY course

Preamble – my years of DIY frustration followed by relief. In this blog article on reasons to do an in-person DIY course, I will relate and detail an epiphany that my smart wife switched on for me. Essentially after 20 years of doing extensive work and projects on several properties, either blagging the jobs myself or many times paying exorbitant prices for dodgy jobs by qualified tradesmen. My wife runs our guesthouse, www.stanstedlodge.com, which always requires ongoing maintenance and repairs; our normal modus operandi is to scout around and use various handymen as they become available. Our latest long list of jobs prompted my wife to demand to do something she has wanted to do for a very long time, a beginner’s in-person DIY course! Just to confirm, this article is geared toward the regular homeowner or discerning house-proud person and not the person looking to forge a handyman DIY business career. In our course investigations we found many courses geared towards a tradesmen business usually ranging in the £2k-£5k price range, our course was a 4-day £500 beginners maintenance course at thediyschool.co.uk. DIY Course, 8 Reasons to do a DIY course We bought our first property over 20 years ago in the early 2000s, a dilapidated 3-bedroom terraced in East London. It was a steal but needed much work. This was the template for the following few properties. So, my DIY experiences started with the first house, and my philosophy remains the same. I would always call in the professionals and pay the relevant escalated costs for anything that needed certification or elevated skill levels. These jobs included gas/boiler, plumbing, electrical, windows, and of course, the roof. Most everything else was fair game for me to take on.

So, what DIY could I do? Starting with the bathroom, I bought a wallpaper remover to remove the Artex on the ceiling, this took a few days, but I did it! (my tutor pointed out that I should have taken a sample and sent it to the council for asbestos testing). Repainting, cleaning down the staircases, and fitting new curtains were activities I could get on with. This was just the first place. We’ve had six more since then, all needing substantial work and projects completed. Looking back now, I shudder to think how much time I have wasted, how much frustration I exerted, and how much money could have been better spent to get an even better result than was achieved on many projects. Tradesmen would give me snippets of information, but like magicians, they never tell you the ‘secret’, so one has to trundle along largely in the dark. Over the years, we’ve tackled quite several DIY jobs, either on our own, assisting tradesmen, or letting the tradesmen complete the jobs outright. The list of jobs we’ve tackled on our own. Painting (inside/outside and everything in between), Wallpapering (not very well), Small plaster wall repairs, Laminate flooring, Curtain rods, Laying grass, grid laying Jobs we assisted on. Small garden wall, block paving, fencing Jobs we had done. Complete roof, partial rewire, rooms plastered, complete bathrooms (at least 6) This is an extensive list and nowhere near exhaustive, and the jobs I managed to do a half-reasonable job on would always leave me disappointed. We were proud of a few jobs, but these were few and far between. DIY Course

8 Great reasons to do an in-person DIY course.

  1. There is a lot of available information now
    My extensive preamble reflects my frustration with this very late life lesson learned, and I hope this blog article prompts you not to waste any of your time. Although a bit frustrated, I shouldn’t beat myself up too much. Thinking about it, when I started, the Internet was still in its infancy, and I know, as I built a website in HTML 3.2. There was little DIY content, a few books that may give a little information, but no DIY websites that I can remember, and no TV shows except the comedy ‘Home Improvement’. There is extensive and accurate DIY information everywhere now, and some great online courses. There are great books now. Although there are still no TV shows as such, we do have www.youtube.com! We are to try and list DIY YouTube channels below.  In the UK, we did our beginners home maintenance course at thediyschool.co.uk, it was fantastic, and our recommendation would be to do at least one DIY course in-person and face-to-face.
  2. Get the confidence, skip the frustration
    This mainly applies to a face-to-face course. It is amazing how much confidence one acquires in a short time when you have an enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and passionate DIY tutor passing on all the essential information on how to do jobs. A key frustration of mine in doing DIY jobs over the years was not just the lack of knowledge but a lack of confidence in what I was doing. Doing a ‘hands-on’ DIY course can give you enormous confidence with the newfound knowledge, applying your new skills in a simulated environment, and developing knowledge on how to prepare and approach DIY projects.
  3. Ask your silly questions
    As I’ve alluded to above, doing a DIY course gives you the access and opportunity to ask all the silly questions you need answering. Depending on your tutor, you should get comprehensive, accurate answers without the guilt when asking a tradesman. Possible with a face-to-face course, but you should be able to do this with online courses.
  4. Get the Tradesmen’s Secret (and where to go after)
    Similar to being able to ask all your silly questions, if you have a passionate knowledgeable tutor they will give you a multitude of little tips and tricks to make your DIY jobs easier. Make sure you have a way to capture them. Write them down immediately, voice record, or if you are allowed and can manage it without any frustration to the class you can see if you can video record. If you don’t capture them, you will probably forget a few – and usually the ones you need! Another important component is when you finish the course, where do you go for good information on a new job? Our tutor in the UK pointed us to Collins Complete DIY Manual’s latest edition. In the USA you might try Readers Digest New Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual, in Australia, you might try. Building Your Own Home-REVISED.
  5. Make your Mistakes
    Doing an in-person DIY course should allow you to do lots of hands-on activities. Plumbing plastic pipes, welding copper pipes, changing electrical circuits, plastering, tiling, silicon, central heating, doors, door furniture, and toilet systems were all activities we were able to do hands-on activities. There were plenty of mistakes by everyone! You don’t only learn from your mistakes, but your classmates as well (even the tutor can get things upside down sometimes). It makes you understand that for any new DIY jobs you undertake, you should budget in materials to do some practice before beginning the job if it is something you have never done before.
  6. Get the right mindset
    Finally, your tutor should give you a better mindset and attitude to approaching DIY jobs. Our tutor, the veritable, impregnable, and curmudgeonous Robin (depending on what day you catch him) instilled a view of ‘doing the job correctly from the very start, and dare not cut corners’. Further to this, taking on the attitude of doing the job right can make the job a journey you should enjoy, rather than, how fast can I get this out of the way? And Robin is one fantastic tutor, no doubt the USP for the school! The veritable Robin Lee The veritable Robin Lee
  7. Save Money
    Once you have your newfound skills and attitude you will no doubt save money in the longer term. You will have the view and confidence to tackle the small and large jobs that you would have paid significant money to tradesmen for outcalls and daily rates. The sooner you do the course, the sooner you start saving!
  8. Fun!
    Learning and doing things is fun, and we had a great time on our course. As it was over two weekends away from home we treated them as an ideal home getaway. These courses also get you thinking about all your home jobs to use the latest trends and techniques. The course can also inspire your creative side and think about new ideas.
DIY Course In conclusion, there are many great reasons to do an in-person face-to-face DIY course, you can try various youtube.com channels, but you will never see all the benefits I’ve listed above. The sooner one does the DIY course, the sooner one begins reaping the benefits. Potentially, like us, you’ll be looking at the more in-depth courses to do, as we look into the Painting and Decorating course. So, get on one now and enjoy!
The Class of 2023!
DIY Course
Didge Smith

Didge Smith

Being the canary in the coalmine on adventures so that others don't make the same mistakes I've made!

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