The term “DIY” can mean many different things to many different people, depending on the words that follow it. From DIY fancy dress to DIY wedding decorations, the universal initialism of “Do It Yourself” can be applied to pretty much anything and everything… provided you don’t mind getting stuck in.

That being said, as a standalone term, DIY typically relates to handiwork around the house and can be a great way to save money on home improvement projects. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, DIY could be for you! With that in mind let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work, as we peel off the lid on the essentials of DIY.

 

how to do diy

 

How to DIY

When it comes to DIY in the home, the variety of tasks can be extremely vast and wide-ranging, including everything from re-wiring a plug to fixing a leaky tap. As such, a universal guide to all these tasks is non-existent; however, there are a few common themes that each job will share.

To help get you started on your DIY quest, here are a few simple rules to follow when taking on a task that’s outside of your comfort zone.

 

Do your homework

Before beginning any DIY task, it’s important to know what lies ahead.

While ploughing through your dining room wall with a sledgehammer may seem like a great way to expand your living room (and relieve some stress), the consequences could leave you picking up the pieces for a long while afterwards.

Doing your homework on a DIY task can help you adequately prepare, while also providing knowledge and knowhow on how to do the task properly. Luckily, Google can be your best friend in situations like this and step-by-step instructions can be found on a multitude of tasks in mere seconds.

Meanwhile, to make things completely idiot-proof (in theory), YouTube is also loaded with hundreds of thousands of instructional videos, designed to help you expand your mind, broaden your horizons and reach the DIY promised land in one piece.

 

Tools of the trade

They say a bad worker always blames his tools… so if you don’t have any tools, you’ll have no-one to blame if it all goes catastrophically pear-shaped!

Joking aside, a well-stocked toolbox can be a useful addition to any home. Items like a hammer, spanner, pliers and a set of screwdrivers can come in handy surprisingly frequently, whether it’s to tighten a loose screw or knock in a protruding nail.

You may also find that certain jobs require more than just your standard toolbox essentials. Electrical items and power tools like a circular saw or electric drill can also be useful to have, depending on the task at hand.

While other tasks may require more specialist items – such as a tile cutter or a floor sander – it may be worth considering how much use you are likely to get out of a job-specific item. If it’s a one-off job that won’t require revisiting, it could be more cost-effective to rent rather than buy your tools outright.

Specialist tools can be hired at a variety of outlets nationwide and could be a good way to keep your outgoings to a minimum.

 

Know your limits

DIY can be a fantastic way to save some money on a small job or menial repair task. However, if you’re dealing with something that’s totally outside of your knowledge and expertise, with a range of complexities attached, it may be worth reassessing the situation and, more importantly, your capabilities of completing the task successfully.

There’s no shame in admitting you’re out of your depth and knowing when you don’t know can be the difference between a job well done and job that needs redoing. What’s more, blindly sailing into the DIY abyss without a clear view of where you going can be extremely dangerous, particularly if you dealing with elements like gas and electricity.

 

Safety first

Following on from our last point, safety should always be top of the list when it comes to DIY. In fact, it should be the title of the list, written in bold and underlined… twice!

DIY in the home can involve a multitude of dangers, particularly if you’re new to home improvements. Even a simple task like hammering a nail can quite easily lead to a broken finger, so caution should be exercised at all times.

Sensible risk assessment is also hugely important. If you’re painting the ceiling while teetering out-stretched on a rickety ladder, all while your cat sleeps underneath on the glass coffee table, chances are you may want to reconsider your approach.

Whenever you’re attempting DIY, you should also bear in mind the clothes you wear too. This doesn’t just extend to overalls and old threads that you don’t mind getting ripped, dirty or ruined – it also extends to safety gear. Protective gloves can come in handy if you’re dealing with sharp objects that fragment – like glass, bricks and tiles – while safety goggles can quite literally save your vision if a rogue shard or shaving goes airborne.

 

When it comes to real DIY expertise, there’s no substitute for professional knowledge. If you want to expand your home improvement knowhow, why not consider a course with Access Training? Our vocational courses can help you achieve first-hand knowledge in a wide variety of skills – including electrical, gas and plumbing courses – making even the most daunting of DIY duties a doddle.

Get in touch today!

Judge's gavel

It's widely known that gas engineers in the UK are legally required to join the Gas Safe Register before working on gas appliances. But do you know what the punishment is for carrying out gas work when you're not Gas Safe registered?

A Mr Stevens of Milton Keynes recently found out. The director of Master Plumbing Contractors Limited recently appeared before Aylesbury Crown Court, where he was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

This sentence was handed down because Mr Stevens was working illegally when he installed a gas boiler (later found to have defects) at a property in Milton Keynes. The court heard that Mr Stevens had...

  • Professed to be Gas Safe registered
  • Worn a T-shirt bearing the Gas Safe logo
  • Displayed the Gas Safe logo on his company van

...but an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that, despite all appearances, Mr Stevens actually was not on the Gas Safe Register at the time the work was carried out.

Following the outcome of this hearing, HSE inspector Andrew McGill issued a statement warning "rogue gas fitters" that gas work is "difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous", and that it should only be undertaken by "trained and competent engineers who are registered with Gas Safe".

How do you get on the Gas Safe Register?

In order to join the Gas Safe Register and avoid the penalties for illegal gas work, you will first need to pass your ACS assessment - and you won't be able to do that until you've learned the essential skills, theory and safety procedures that every professional gas engineer must know.

If you're thinking of joining the trade and making a living from gas work, we offer a selection of comprehensive gas courses here at Access Training Academies. You'll learn in a fully-equipped training centre under the supervision of an experienced gas engineer, and we'll help you to progress smoothly and quickly from learning the basics to preparing for your ACS assessment. We can also help with the reassessments that you'll have to complete every few years in order to stay on the Gas Safe Register.

Our Gas Courses >   Speak to a Course Advisor >

READ MORE: How to Become Gas Safe Registered

Become an electrician

If you're looking for a rewarding new career, then you may want to think about becoming an electrician. Gaining your electrical qualifications and starting down this path can be challenging, but the rewards of an electrician career are well worth it.

 

Why become an electrician?

  • Electricians commonly make upwards of £30,000 per year (according to totaljobs.com)

  • You'll have the opportunity to be your own boss and choose your hours

  • Qualified electricians are in very high demand right now - many UK firms have reported difficulties recruiting electricians

In addition to the above perks, electricians also enjoy a more active working day, making their way from one job to the next and engaging in practical, hands-on labour instead of sitting at a desk all week.

All of these are great reasons to become an electrician - but how exactly do you do it? Well, as with any trade, there are a number of industry-recognised qualifications associated with electrical work, and you'll obviously need to get qualified before you can start work; after all, electricity is very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing, and it's illegal for untrained personnel to operate on live electrical installations.

 

What qualifications do I need to be an electrician?

In order to start your electrician career, you will first need to earn an industry-recognised Level 3 electrical qualification, such as:

  • Level 3 Award in the In-Service Inspections and Testing of Electrical Equipment (PAT)

  • Level 3 Award in the Building Regulations for Electrical Installations in Dwellings

  • Level 3 Award in the Initial Verification and Certification of Electrical Installations

These qualifications each cover different aspects of an electrician's career, so you may find it worthwhile to complete a package course (e.g. our own Professional Electrical Course, which includes a number of Level 3 electrical qualifications) in order to give the best possible foundation for a varied, lucrative career. Simply click below to learn more!

Professional Electrical Course >

 

Electrician career

How long does it take to get qualified?

A lot of budding electricians get qualified over a number of years via an apprenticeship or NVQ diploma course, with a Level 3 qualification awarded upon completion. Other people obtain Level 1 and/or Level 2 qualifications before seeking trainee positions.

These aren't the only options, however. Fast-track electrical courses - which allow candidates to achieve Level 3 qualifications within a very short time frame - have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is an option you may wish to consider if you're looking to start your electrician career ASAP.

Fast-track courses vary in duration, but dedicated students can complete their training and become qualified electricians in a matter of months.

 

What happens once you're qualified?

Once you have completed your electrical training and earned the necessary qualification(s), you can seek employment with a firm, or you can start your own business and be your own boss.

Many newly-qualified electricians choose the latter option, and it's not hard to see why: self-employed electricians can work as few or as many hours as they please, and their earnings aren't limited to their contracted salary.

However, if you would prefer to be employed by someone else, that's a great choice too, and with electricians extremely in-demand at the moment, you should have no trouble finding a job.

 

How can I start my electrician career?

If you're serious about becoming an electrician, we offer a range of accredited electrical courses here at Access Training Academies.

Our electrician training packages include a number of industry-recognised qualifications, including some of the Level 3 electrical qualifications mentioned earlier.

In addition to offering flexible training programmes in fully-equipped electrical training centres, we also provide ongoing career support for 3 years after you enrol with us. Our expert advice and industry connections will help to get your electrician career off to the best possible start!

View Our Electrical Courses >

 

2020 UPDATE: In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we now offer Live Online Learning - this means that you can start learning the fundamentals of electrical work at home!

Our virtual classroom sessions allow you to interact and ask questions as usual, plus you can rewatch each tutorial as many times as you wish. Once you've completed your electrical theory training, you will attend one of our training centres, where we'll teach you how to put that knowledge into practice. Contact Access Training now to learn more about our e-learning courses.

 

Wondering what it's like to train with us? Here's a review from one of our electricians in training:

If you need advice on any of our electrical training courses, or would just like to speak to one of our expert advisors about any of the courses we offer, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0800 345 7492 or email info@accesstraininguk.co.uk to discuss your electrician career options.

How to be a plumber

 

Is it possible to become a plumber while working?

Yes, it is - with part-time and intensive plumbing courses from Access Training. Our accredited training programmes allow you to learn around your current commitments, whether that means work, family, or other obligations.

Quitting your job and diving headlong into a totally new career is terrifying, and not necessarily a very smart move. If, for instance, you want to leave your desk job behind and become a professional plumber, you'll have to do quite a bit of training before you can actually start earning money. So if you hand in your notice before you've even enrolled on a training course, there'll be a significant gap in your income between the end of your old career and the start of your new one.

But what if, instead of quitting your job in order to train as a plumber, you could complete your training while still working your current job? Suddenly, figuring out how to be a plumber doesn't seem like such a daunting task or require so many sacrifices!

The 'traditional' route to becoming a qualified plumber is to undertake a college course or apprenticeship and learn over a number of years. Our courses take dramatically less time to complete, meaning that you can enrol in a course, learn your new trade, and get qualified before you take the plunge and tell your office that you're leaving for pastures new.

 

Benefits of learning while working

Here are a few reasons why it's usually better to train while continuing with your current job:

  • No loss of income between quitting and starting your new career
  • No need to let down your current commitments/obligations
  • Get qualified faster (compared to standard college courses)

 

Live online learning - train anywhere!

Access Training now offer live online training sessions that allow you to build your plumbing knowledge from the comfort of your own home - or wherever else you happen to be. As long as you can connect to the Internet, you can join our virtual classroom and learn about your new trade.

Completing the theory component of your plumbing course online means that, when you attend our training centre in person, you can focus on developing your practical plumbing skills.

If you're interested in enrolling on to an Access Training plumbing course and training while you work, please contact us now for more information.

Browse all plumbing courses >

 

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