That title might sound a little bit worrisome, given that this is… learning from advice that you find online. Oh dear. However! There’s not going to be any recommendations about the things you should do with your decor, so no bad advice about how to knock down a weight-bearing wall that ends up flattening your house.
Instead, the focus here is on the advice you find online when it comes to this kind of work. Now that’s not to denigrate it; much of the advice is there for nothing but good reasons. It’s written by people who know what they’re talking about, have done the work themselves, and want to share what the tips and tricks have learned with their audience. That’s valid. It’s to be encouraged – it’s the only way most of us learn. You can make a real difference to your home by following the advice of a great home improvement blog or taking decor inspiration from sites like Pinterest and Instagram.
However, the problem is, well… sorry to say this, but it might be you. Sorry again! But this is the kind of thing you need to know for the sake of your home. Online advice tends to make a set of assumptions, which are not necessarily going to scan well with your own experience.
Know Your Limits
Apart from performing open-heart surgery, there are few more areas you should be skeptical of your skillset than your DIY skills. We’re all guilty of falling into a trap that convinces us we know what we’re doing when actually we have no idea. That’s fine if you’re just trying to weave someone a friendship bracelet; it’s less fine when the projects you embark on might have a serious impact on your home.
So how can you mitigate the damage?
- Get Information From Various Sources
If you find a tutorial that you like, then, by all means, follow it. That’s how you’ll get the right result, after all. But if that tutorial makes an assumption – such as not briefing you on the full safety requirements of a project – then go and get it from other sources.
- Plan Thoroughly
An online guide should be just that – a guide. Don’t let it be an instruction manual that you follow to the letter and never deviate from. See your inspiration as a part of the project, but you’re still going to need to do the same planning you would normally do if you were doing it off your own back.
- Take Everything With A Pinch of Salt
If a blogger tells you a project is “easy” and will only take an afternoon, then that’s probably the case – for them. It might be a whole different story for you, so keep that in mind when you’re setting time aside for anything you want to follow. It’s always worth checking the comments as well, just to see how other people who have made an attempt have fared.
The internet home improvement community is wide and bubbling with energy, so there’s no harm in letting it inspire and excite you. Just remember to exercise the right amount of caution before throwing yourself headlong into any projects, and you won’t go far wrong.