A DIYers Checklist: How to DIY The Right Way

With apps like Pinterest and a plethora of new television shows on HGTV, America is  becoming a nation of DIY’ers and Pittsburgh homeowners are on the cutting edge. If you love to tackle projects on your own and “do-it-yourself,” you, too, may be joining in the DIY mindset of modern times.

From crafting to cooking, scrapbooking to wallpapering, carpentry to gardening, and beyond, doing it yourself can save money and can also turn into incredibly fulfilling hobbies, or even a profitable side business.But, what does it take to become a DIY’er? Paragon Homes has some tips for you when it comes to tackling projects, no matter how big, small, difficult, or easy.

A DIY Checklist from Paragon Homes:

  •  Use Pinterest. Download the Pinterest app and/or visit the website before beginning your DIY project. It is a great way to save inspirations and ideas before you get to planning.
  • Visit the library. Yes, “old-fashioned” libraries still exist. Visit the library for even more research and inspiration.
  • Plan ahead. Every DIY project involves some amount of planning. Use a checklist on the computer or in a notebook to map out steps you need to achieve, items you need to purchase, and any other notes you want to make.
  • Shop smart. Your DIY project may involve some supplies. For some projects, this may involve a trip to Lowe’s, Sears, or Home Depot, with others, a visit to Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabrics, or Michael’s may be in order. Be vigilant about sales and be diligent in finding the best deals for your DIY project.
  • Enlist help. If you think you’ll need assistance with your project, you don’t have to do it ALL yourself. Ask a friend or family member, and reward them for their time or expertise with a pizza lunch, thoughtful gift card, or case of beer.
  • Think outside the box. Sometimes, things will go wrong. And sometimes – believe it or not – neither the Internet nor your most-trusted mentor will have the answers that you seek. DIY projects can be unpredictable. You may need to fly by the seat of your pants in some cases, and “wing it” if you have to. Thinking outside the box, getting crafty or creative, and being flexible is key.
  • Have the right “stuff.” Some DIY projects involve tools: hammers, nails, power drills, torches, drywall, and so on. Other DIY projects involve different items: scalloped scissors, Modge Podge, acrylic paint, stencils, glitter, and so forth. Make sure that you research what you will need for your project, and get your hands on all of the essentials before you start.
  • Clean up as you go. DIY projects can get messy. There’s no worse than having to clean up hours, days, weeks, or months at work at the very end, when all is said and done. Cleaning up as you go could save you a lot of hassle once your project is finalized.
  • Most importantly stay safe!  If you are not sure about something seek a professional who can help you stay safe while you work.  Lead paint is present in many homes built before 1980 as is asbestos.  Make sure to follow all safety instructions as well, those tools can hurt if not used properly.

Paragon Homes allows you to custom-build the home of your dreams. So if a craft room or a storage space for your power tools is necessary, be sure to let us know as we plan the perfect Paragon home together for you and your family.

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Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, one of Pittsburgh’s Most Influential Twitter Users by the Pittsburgh Business Times, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pug, doberman, frogs, and cats!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!

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