While the DIY blogger world is full of handsome, smiling couples in perfectly renovated homes full of fancy French trim and ingenious craft ideas, you don't often hear about the darker side of the DIY world. To make sure your Insta-ambitions don't get ahead of your skill set, here are some DIY safety concerns to keep in mind.
Trying to squeeze in your home renovation project before you host holiday guests? This time of year is a great opportunity to remodel, but you wouldn't want an accident to ruin your holiday gatherings. To keep your renovation project on track and yourself out of the hospital, it's important to take steps to prevent injury.
DIY Safety 101: What are the risks of DIY renovations?
It doesn't matter if you're tearing your kitchen apart or simply touching up the living room, every remodeling project comes with the risk of injury. Falls from ladders, injuries from tools, pets running under your feet, and dangerous fumes are all risks that homeowners face during DIY projects.
Household accidents are already one of the most common causes of minor to moderate bruises, and DIY projects can increase your risk for these household accidents.
Of course, this does not mean you should avoid these projects altogether. According to a study by Harvard University, homeowners were estimated to spend $310 billion on remodeling and repairs in 2016, up 8.6% from the year before. You can still move forward with a home renovation or DIY project while prioritizing safety.
How can I keep myself safe?
There are plenty of ways to prevent injury during your next renovation project, and your best practices will vary by project type. The following are some safety tips to get you started.
- Wear the right safety gear. Depending on the type of tools you're using, invest in personal protective equipment such as a hardhat, gloves, safety goggles, and proper footwear to protect your body during your project. This step alone can prevent both minor and major injuries.
- Use tools with caution. Slow down and take the time to use a tool properly! Yes, using a drill for the first time can be exciting, but take it slow at first. Many tool-related accidents happen when you rush through a job, so double check safety guards and hand placement.
- Never work alone. There's a reason your favorite house flipping and renovation reality shows feature smiling couples or squabbling siblings. Ask your partner or a friend to help you with your renovation project. By working with another person at all times, you can look out for each other.
- Keep renovated areas well ventilated. Fumes from paint, stains, and aerosol cans can be dangerous when inhaled. Open windows, use ventilation equipment, or use these substances outside if possible.
- Know when to book a professional. Remember that you are not required to DIY every project, no matter how much pressure you get from your DIY blogger friends. Some more advanced renovations are best left to an actual contractor.
- Block off dangerous areas. This is especially important if you have kids or pets in the home.
While a remodeling project is in progress, there may be dangerous tools, exposed nails, hazardous chemicals, and other hazards for curious kids and pets. Make sure all entrances to active work areas are completely kid proofed.
It certainly can be tempting to rush through a home renovation project, taking shortcuts along the way, but this can increase the risk of injury for you and your family. By taking your time and putting safety at the center of your plans, you can complete your remodeling project without incident. And that will be worth it when you are spending time with family and friends in your new space.