If you love DIY, chances are that you’re eager to start working on the decor in your apartment. Unfortunately, there are a number of challenges that can make even the most dedicated DIY-er give up. While not all of the challenges have easy solutions, you can find ways to get your DIY game on regardless.
What are these challenges and how can you beat them? Here’s what you need to know.
Let’s start with the first problem you’ll encounter. When you’re learning how to start a home renovation project, an early lesson is to gather together everything you need. This is easy enough if you have a house with spacious spare rooms or a garage. However, when you’re living in an apartment, you tend to use up all the space you have.
There are a number of potential solutions for this, and they depend on your specific circumstances. Start by asking your building manager if you can use a storeroom – or the space in which the person who does maintenance keeps their tools – temporarily. Unless there is no space available or they have rules against this, chances are they’ll be fine with it.
Alternatively, you may have to use whichever room you’re working in. If it is the living room, you can use other parts of the apartment for the time being. If you’re working on a bedroom, you or your kids might have to sleep on the couch for a couple of days.
Finally, if you are doing a major DIY renovation, ask a family member or friend if you can move into their guest room for a short time.
Storage is the most immediate problem to solve, but it’s not the biggest one. That title goes to the effect your project is going to have on the air in your apartment, especially if you are sanding wood and painting. In a house, you can open up the windows and doors and do your living as far away from the space you’re working on as possible. In an apartment, you have limited ventilation and nowhere to go.
It is important not to underestimate what the dust and fumes can do. They can make you and your kids seriously ill, with chronic diseases like asthma. If you cannot find a solution to this challenge, you may have to think again about that renovation.
The good news is that many projects will not affect the air too badly and, if your project will have a harmful impact, there are solutions. The best solution is to seal off the space where you are working as effectively as possible. Make it totally off limits to anyone but whoever is doing the work. At night, place a towel under the door to limit the fumes coming from the room.
Remember not to seal off a room when you’re working on it if there are no other major sources of ventilation!
This problem has very little to do with your own comfort and everything to do with that of your neighbors. The reality is that when you’re doing DIY work in an apartment, you will frustrate a lot of people. Some will mutter under their breath but others might complain to the apartment board and get your project shut down.
The key here is to know exactly what is and isn’t allowed, and to work within the guidelines. Even if it will save you a lot of time, don’t do noisy work early in the mornings or at night. The best time to do the work is when your neighbors are at work. Unfortunately, for most people, this is the time you’re at work as well.
Weekends can be tricky. You don’t want to ruin your neighbors’ Sunday lunch with banging noises, but if you have no other time, you have to take what you’ve got. Don’t wait for your neighbors to get angry. Rather, speak to them beforehand. While this may not make them feel at all better, it is difficult for them to argue that you shouldn’t be allowed to do home improvement.
Doing DIY renovations in an apartment is tough, but not impossible. With the right attitude, you can resolve all the challenges you face.