Everyone wants to be a home improvement pro, and anyone can be one. The problem is, in most cases, that most people simply do not know where to start. After all, home improvement is not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of time and effort not only to improve something, but to practice enough to where you have enough skill to do a good job of it.
And while some of us are lucky and have a knack for things right off the bat, the majority of us are not, and look at home improvement the same way in which they would view some terribly complex science. If you want to improve your home, and go from a novice to an expert in a single weekend, then you are going to have to be willing to get realistic about what is in store for you.
Time is Not Just Money
Have you ever heard the saying “time is money?” Well, while that may be true, that is not the only thing time is. Time is also improvement. And in regards to home improvement, you need a lot of it. Thus, for your first step of becoming a pro over a single weekend, you need to ensure that you have the whole weekend to focus on your home.
Remember that practice makes perfect; the more time you spend perfecting, the easier it will be to get the final product the way you want it. If you want the final product to be of quality with a pro, then the first thing you are going to want to do is practice your cutting.
Make Every Cut Count
Almost every single home improvement job will involve at least a small margin of cutting. Thus, you want to ensure that you are not only apt with a saw, but are able to cut straight. So practice on some spare wood first, before you make any home altering cuts to anything that will be seen. Start of slow. Remember, sawing is all in the wrist.
Every motion should be slow, with enough downward force to cut but without losing any of the pendulum arc of your cut, nor the smoothness of your stroke to stroke movements. The more you actually “saw” at something, the less likely it will be to come out looking professional. Look at sawing as you would buttering toast; excessive force is only going to take your nice piece of bread, or wood in this case, and turn it into a big old mess.
Hammer Straight On
The last thing you need to learn to be a pro in home improvement is how to use a hammer. Because while measuring and even calculating are all basic things that you will have assistance with, hammering, like sawing, is in a category of its own. The object is to hit the nail head on, driving it down. Too many people hit nails on a slant, and send them through the wood, causing it to splinter.
To avoid that, you want to make sure that whenever you are hammering, you are standing up and over the wood, and the nail. Lift the nail straight up, and don’t exaggerate the motion; you only need to bring the hammer about seven inches off the nail head, usually even less, to strike. The closer your strikes are to the actual head of the nail, the less chances you will miss and damage the nail head, and the wood that you are going to be using for your project.
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David Walker writes for quokkadoors.com.au, door specialists based in Perth, Australia.