Of course driveway, highway and road paving is left to the experts. But how about a small backyard DIY project? You may want to lay stones to create a small path in your backyard, refinish your deck, or build a new deck entirely. Taking the proper steps in planning and safety is vital to completing a quality project successfully, and ensuring it is a worthwhile longterm investment.
Make sure to research everything you need for your DIY project. Youtube is a great source for tutorials of any kind! Make a list of materials, and don’t be afraid to speak to the experts at the hardware store and inquire about the different products they have, as well as which would be best suited for you. Every product on the market has a very specific use, so tailoring the perfect one to you can make a world of a difference in the final result.
2. Evaluate Your Skills
This is an important one. At this step, you need to take into consideration if you have the skills necessary to both execute the project, and complete it. In the end, it needs to be safe for the entire family, which means kids and pets need to safely be able to walk, play or run on the surface.
Here, you can also consider getting help from a friend with knowledge or past experience. This can prove beneficial if the workload is too heavy for you to complete on your own, and if you are crunched for time.
3. Organize the Workload and Always Get Extra
By organizing your workload, you can sketch, map out, or list the tasks that need to be completed first, which ones follow, and which ones are in the final stages of completion. Sometimes you need to allow time for paint to dry, or glue to set – take all of these things into consideration and plan ahead of time for delivery, shipping and set up.
Always get extra. Meaning, when purchasing the main necessary materials for your DIY project, always get an extra in quantity. Whether it is an extra plank of wood for your deck, an extra can of paint or more stones for your backyard. This ensures your work remains uninterrupted, doesn’t extend past what you planned, and if you make a mistake you have the materials to start over.
4. Do it Right the First Time
This can be applied to anything. Sure, you’ll make mistakes, but there is a difference between making mistakes and rushing through a job. Don’t rush through it just because you want to get it done – spend an adequate amount of time really making sure you are well prepared, and most importantly, have patience. Patience goes a long way when building something, especially if it is your first time. Do-it-yourself projects aren’t easy – they can be time consuming and frustrating but immensely rewarding in the end.
5. Take Notes and Before & After Pictures
Make sure to set aside a notebook or stack of sticky notes dedicated specifically to your project. Take note of measurements, techniques, amounts of product used, total cost/budget and especially brands of product and companies you liked using and working with, versus ones you didn’t like so much. This will make your next DIY adventure a breeze, and cut down on a lot of the work!
Before and after pictures, on the other hand, can be a great way to wrap up your written notes in a visual way. Sometimes, you spend so much time working on a renovation that you forget what the space used to look like before you began. Having before and after pictures puts everything in perspective and actually gives you tangible proof of the hard work and effort you put in. The change can sometimes look much more drastic than you originally remembered!
A DIY project can be so incredibly rewarding. It can teach you new techniques, patience and an entirely new field of work. It might even spark up a new passion. While some projects are so much fun to do alone or with the family, others require the assistance of professional help. If you have a heavy duty project such as asphalt paving, have questions or would like to book a free consultation in the Lower Mainland, contact Richmond Blacktop. We have over 40 years of experience in asphalt and concrete paving, and offer a range of other services.