Have the right building materials to do it yourself

With the amount of building materials on the market, it's easy to think that you can pop to your local builders merchant and pick up what you need to do the job yourself, but that is not always the best idea.

Many of us are very DIY savvy, whether that's because we think we can complete anything we put our minds to, or because we want to save money, but when is it best to do it yourself and when do you get the experts in?


What does the law say?

Although you may think you can just pick up the building materials you need and get on with it, the law says differently. There are certain tasks that, legally, you need to get the experts in to do.

With electrical work, whether you have the building materials to do the job or not, Part P of Building Regulations limits the work that you can perform in your home. Ignoring Part P is a criminal offence. Work you can do includes replacing sockets, adding a lighting point to an existing circuit and replacing a light fitting, but when you want to do something like rewiring, replacing a fuse board or installing electrical underfloor heating, then you need a qualified electrician.

There are similar rules when it comes to gas works. Gas Safety Legislation permits you to change a gas cooker control knob, but you can't do anything that will affect the supply of the gas.

Although you can buy the building materials to complete many of the tasks that you are not legally allowed to do, the rules are not there to annoy, but to ensure your safety.


Get the right building materials

Before you start anything, having the right building materials is imperative.

It may seem obvious, but if you are going to be painting, and let's face it, anyone can do that, you need to ensure you have paint and something to put it on the walls with! But, if you're covering a large space then maybe your building materials need to include rollers to get the job done quicker and give it a more professional look. Additionally, if you are going to be updating skirting boards and doorframes, then as well as emulsion for the walls, you will need a gloss or satin paint.

For bigger jobs, you can hire items such as floor sanders and electrical tools that will probably save you money on paying a professional to do the job, so think about the building materials you need before you begin.

Good advice

So, you have the right building materials to hand, now there are some considerations to think about before you decide to do the job yourself or call in an expert.

Firstly, do you have the time to do it? You don't want to rush the job and make errors, which could result in you having to call someone in to fix the problem.

Finally, if you do encounter something that you really do not understand, instead of plodding along thinking that you will find an answer, stop and call a professional.

If you aren't confident at doing a job, the team at your local Chandlers branch are happy to give you advice on what building materials are needed, or pass on names of professionals who could do the job for you. You can find your nearest branch here.

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