Us Aussies love rolling our sleeves up and getting stuck into some hard work, whether it’s a bit of gardening on a Sunday afternoon or a full-scale home renovation. As admirable as that can-do attitude often is, it can cause DIYers to bite off more than they can chew, or neglect safe working practices in order to get the job done quicker.
If you’ve already refinanced your home loan to afford your renos, an injury could spell disaster for your finances and your home. So to avoid such debacles, we’ve whipped up a quick guide to safe and smart DIY renovations.
What’s the big fuss about?
You may be inclined to say ‘she’ll be right’ and adopt a a rough and ready approach to DIY. A recent media release from the Australian Attorney General’s Department suggests that taking such an approach may be injurious or even fatal. In fact, the report’s commissioner, Dini Soulio, stated that “almost 1300 people are hospitalised each year across Australia due to ladder injuries alone.’
With this statistic in mind we can begin to see that even the most innocuous DIY activities, such as stripping wallpaper or installing spouting, can be potentially hazardous – especially when approached with a cavalier attitude. Despite the dangers, many people choose to renovate their own home or investment property, as houses in need of work tend to be cheaper – everyone likes a lower investment home loan, after all.
How do I stay safe?
Health NSW provides us with a simplified four-step guide to keeping a DIY site, safe for you any bystanders.
When undertaking a DIY project for the day you must first identify hazards – this could include checking walls for asbestos, ensuring you wear protection equipment when using chemicals and ditching the thongs when you go up a ladder. Secondly you should prepare the work area, removing all potential hazards and closing doors and windows to ensure dust or chemical fumes do not spread throughout your home.
Next you’ll want to ensure that you use safe work practices – most of which should be common sense. These include using non-powered tools where possible, and ensuring that you wear the appropriate respirator if working with dangerous materials or excessive dust. Lastly it’s imperative that you clean up your work area disposing of any chemicals in an approved fashion and wetting dust before sweeping to avoid stirring it up.
Follow these basic tips, and the only thing that will be falling will be your renovation prices!
You can contact a Smartline Mortgage Adviser on 13 14 97 for mortgage advice. Or complete our call request form and we’ll call you!