DIY is in the very bones of our nation. It’s the pure application of Kiwi ingenuity, it can save money and be a source of great pride in knowing you’ve done it yourself.

The key to a successful DIY renovation project is knowledge so, to help you along the route of becoming a DIY expert, we’ve put together some do’s and don’ts of the do-it-yourself world. Grab your tools, unleash your imagination and read on to prepare yourself for your next project.

DO check if your job requires building consent

All building work in New Zealand must comply with the Building Code and may need a building consent. Knowing whether or not you require one for your DIY project can be tricky. For example, you may need consent in order to put up a shed or a deck. Check with your local council to find out whether you require building consent or any other permits for your project.

DO inspect your tools before use

DIY projects can come few and far between, and sometimes tools that were once up-to-standard can get brittle or even dangerous. Rust on hammerheads, rot in wooden handles, expired batteries in power tools – finding out that your tools don’t work properly in the middle of the project is not ideal so make sure you take time to inspect and replace what’s needed before you get started.

DO protect yourself in person and financially

It’s common sense to wear protective gear and make sure you aren’t going to damage anything or anyone else while you work. However, what is less obvious is the need for the right insurance cover during your renovation. Check if your project requires building consent. If it doesn’t, your standard house insurance policy may offer some protection for your property, tools and building materials. Find out more about the house under minor alteration benefit that we offer with our Plus and Premium house insurance cover.

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DON’T try to do the house wiring

Unless you are a licensed electrician, it is best to leave the electrical systems to the professionals. Electricity is exceptionally dangerous if you don’t know exactly what you are doing. In fact, there are strict rules for carrying out domestic electrical work. Before you get started, make sure you comply with the legal requirements. For more information on what you can or can’t do, check out this guide from Energy Safety.

DON’T just ‘wing it’

Most of us have been guilty at some point of failing to read the instructions, and sometimes that’s okay: following along too closely to rigid rules for a creative project can stifle your imagination. However, some guidelines are there for a very good reason. Don’t try to win a project – do your research, check multiple sources and consult with people who are in the know or have done it before.

DON’T be afraid to ask for help

Some jobs are too big for one person to complete on their own – whether it’s simply too much of a workload or because it’s too complex. Know where your skill set ends and be prepared to ask for help from tasks like repainting the walls. Often you’ll find it’s easier to do it with a group rather than just yourself!

DIY renovations are a great way to breathe new life into your property without breaking the bank. However, it pays to be protected both personally and financially. If you’re looking to insure your renovations either before or after the work is done, get in touch with our friendly team today to discuss your options.

Posted by Katie Anderson