One of the most common reasons householders have for postponing repairs or redecoration is that they feel the cost of employing skilled labour is too much, yet they are afraid to try some DIY.
It is understandable why people are reluctant to undertake DIY projects when they have had no experience. While there are plenty of good guides to carrying out many tasks, they can sometimes be confusing, and they often make false assumptions about an unskilled person’s knowledge of a subject.
Bathrooms.com have launched an online guide to help people carry out essential DIY in their bathrooms. We took a look at this guide to see if it offers anything for the true amateur DIY homeowner.
The Bathrooms.com guide has sections dealing with every aspect of the bathroom. Click on a graphic or select from menu choices like Sinks, Toilet, Bath, Cabinets etc. to see DIY tips for those items.
The guide offers advice on up to four topics for each item, namely:
- Buying recommendations
The guide on each topic includes text instructions, and some guides offer video instructions or illustrations also. Some of the DIY guides are highly detailed, while others just cover the basics. Some of the videos have voiceovers, some have the person speaking as he or she works, while others are subtitled and just have music.
Because the Bathrooms.com guide is so extensive, it is impossible to cover everything in it in this review. We have taken just two sections to show the contrasting styles in the guide.
When you click on the link, you are taken to a new page that has an embedded video showing you how to install tiles. This is a very basic instructional page that essentially shows you how to stick a tile to the wall. As such, it is of little use for somebody without DIY experience who is thinking about having a go at tiling the bathroom, or any other part of the home.
The instructions give no details about how to calculate how many tiles are needed, how much adhesive to buy, or what tools will be required. It is almost guaranteed that, for any tiling job, some tiles will have to be cut, and we are not told how, or what we need, to do that. Neither does the video or the text give any information or advice on where in the room to start tiling, or any tips on negotiating difficult areas.
This contrasts completely with the tiling section, giving complete information on how to paint a wall. This starts off with a list of all you need down to the very last detail. It even includes a flathead screwdriver (with which to open the paint tin) and a sponge.
It strongly recommends using masking type to avoid painting areas unintentionally. Throughout the guide, you will find tips such as this that the average amateur might not have known, and these can be useful.
It is unlikely that anybody is going to learn enough from this Bathrooms.com guide to be able to successfully tackle a branch of DIY that they have not done before. We certainly would not recommend that somebody should undertake a major job like tiling, or installing a bath, if they have to rely on the instructions in the guide.
Many of the topics covered are presented through links to other websites outside Bathrooms.com, so there is no consistency in the presentation of information. Information can be presented poorly. For example, the video and text on attaching legs to a bath tell you to turn the bath upside down, followed by the instruction to put a towel down first to prevent scratching.
On the positive side, there is some useful information, and there are tips that can make simple DIY jobs easier, and help people carry them out more efficiently. For example, the painting section of the guide tells you how to calculate how much paint you will need. Most people should have little difficulty in following the instructions on how to unblock a toilet, or how to fix a dripping tap.
Many of those who do the occasional DIY project will likely pick up some handy tips by first having a glance at the guide. Since the guide is free, it is certainly worth checking it out. Depending on the task in hand, it may prove very useful.