As the artisan lifestyle continues to grow in popularity, DIY home improvements are becoming ever more prevalent. With so many people doing it, you’d be forgiven for assuming that undertaking a project yourself is the easiest thing in the world. As long as you follow the steps below, recommended by staircase specialists Pear Stairs, there’s no reason why it can’t be!
- The Dream
Before you spend anything or start planning in detail, you need to ask yourself – and anyone else in your house – what you would go for if there was no limit to money, space, time, materials or any other constraints the real world might throw at you. Read articles, look at pictures, steal ideas. Create mood boards. You’ll find yourself with a much more satisfying result if you aim high and just make a few concessions.
- The Research
The planning stage is the step most regularly denied full attention, and yet it’s absolutely vital to the success of your project. Don’t be impatient. Look at the practical results you require– for example, think about how the space you have could be most effectively used – then research the best materials for the job, checking costs and availability. Compare the results of your research with the dream design you came up with before. What needs to be scrapped from that original design, and what can you afford to keep?
- Shop Around
Run internet searches to find out which tools and materials are recommended for this job, and why. Try to find out if there are cheaper alternatives that offer an equally positive effect and look – or can be made to look – just as aesthetically pleasing,without conceding on quality.
- The Details
Once you’ve made a fairly firm decision about the materials you’re going to use, go back online and look into any problems reported, however rare, and what you can do to prevent them. It’s a great opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes, as you’ll come across people who have found that your chosen type of wood is prone to split if treated in a particular way, or a certain tool is inadequate for cutting metal into your required shape, for example. Once you have this information, make any changes necessary, then get measuring. You will really benefit from close, patient attention to detail – no guesswork. Everything needs to be calculated down to the last millimetre. When you’re putting it all in place, nothing should be forced into position. That’s where breakages occur and expenses mount up.
- Take Your Time, and Take Advice
Plan the time it will take, and make sure you are generous when it comes to deadlines. Only start when you feel confident, and make sure you have wiggle room. Finally, don’t be afraid to mention any problems you might be having throughout the project – you’d be surprised by the wealth of experience the people around you might be hiding. Fact-check everything you’re told though – old wives’ tales abound in the world of DIY!
If you’ve followed the above five steps correctly, the practical element of your DIY staircase project should run smoothly and be finished on time, with great results!