Home Improvements – Just DIY it!

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If you own a home in Singapore, its unlikely that you’ve dabbled in any home improvement that goes beyond decorating and furnishing. My reason for saying so is because in the blink of an eye, we had transformed from kampong-living folks to urban-jungle dwellers in just 48 years.

My grandfather used to live along the shophouses along boat quay, and he had singlehandedly built a loft for his family of 8 in their third story cubicle. In contrast, we can’t even get our air-conditioning to work properly without calling in someone for its regular servicing.

For our generation, drilling holes into concrete walls just seems like too much effort, and hiring a contractor to handle the different components of renovating a house is way easier.

DIY your home is easy

DIY your home could be therapeutic sometimes

Well, I got my first taste of DIY home improvement earlier this year when I moved into my new home. The place was empty, and having moved to Canada with only 2 suitcases of books and clothes… I had to start building my nest from scratch. With next to no knowledge on how to use power tools, the learning process was steep.

Assembling the IKEA furniture was easy enough (I only had to deal with blisters and splinters). It was drilling nails and fixtures into the wall that we fared terribly. In my attempt to attach a latch to our front door with a power drill, I missed the nail, and the drill ended up carving a deep line into the wooden frame of our door. I tried to patch that problem by getting some extra white paint we had and covering up the wood that was exposed, only to carve a deeper hole in my next attempt to get the nail in again. DIY ATTEMPT. FAILED.

Attaching our TV to a swivel stand resulted in another DIY-faux-pas. In Canada, most houses have drywalls instead of cement, so drilling into it is pretty easy. However, when a nail is required to hold weight, we try to look for supporting beams that are behind the dry wall to further distribute the weight onto stronger structures. In the process, we try to avoid live wires that are running behind the wall. As we had NO IDEA what we were doing, we ended up with more than necessary holes behind the TV, the mount is now flushed to the left of the fireplace so the TV is off-center, and it turned out too low to incorporate a sound bar, so we had to get external speakers instead.

There was also one moment when put on rubber gloves and wore our running shoes in the house, with the other party holding a blanket in case anything happened because we were terrified that we were going to get electrocuted!! (For the record, we’re both still alive and well.)

All in all, DIY is a great experience. I’m definitely more hands on now, and it feels great to be able to fix up your own home. If DIY is not your thing, make sure you get yourself a comprehensive home insurance to protect your home contents and yourself against any accidents you may have while attempting to relive the hands-on days of our forefathers!

Do you prefer DIY or let the expert handle your home decorating and furnishing for you? We’d love to hear from you.

For more home improvement ideas and inspirations – check out the reality tv show “The Apartment”

"Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and should not be taken as advice for purchasing insurance ..."

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