8 Safety Tips for First-Time Home Renovators

November 23, 2015

As the huge number of home and lifestyle programs on television shows, DIY is in style. While it often seems easy on TV, anyone looking to do a home renovation needs to do plenty of research, skill up, and be prepared for a lot of hard work. One area that the TV programs and magazines don’t always focus on is safety, and when it comes to home renovations, safety should be your top priority. So before you start wielding the hammer or paintbrush, check out our top safety tips.

Check your insurance policy

Before starting any renovation, check your insurance policy to see what’s covered and what’s not, should an accident occur during the work. If you were to dig into a water pipe for instance, or have a partial wall collapse, you need to make sure you understand what expenses you’d have to pay yourself. An effective budget needs at least 10% contingency for unforeseen expenses, but you don’t want to dip into that – or blow it entirely – due to an avoidable mishap.

Plan properly

Any successful renovation job requires thorough research and planning. You may need to liaise with builders and architects, and your local council should be a first port of call to find out what permits are needed. Building work cannot start until all permits are approved and in place.

Be asbestos aware

Asbestos is a natural fibre that was used extensively in home building in Australia, up until the mid-80s. It’s now known to potentially pose major health risks. Not everyone exposed to asbestos will develop life-threatening illnesses, but many have done. So it’s vital that you understand the risks. Asbestos may be found in ceilings, walls, bricks and many other area of the home. Materials need to be tested by a professional lab to confirm if they are asbestos, and if so, they need to be dealt with by a licensed asbestos removal service.

While you will need to organise skip bin hire for general debris and building materials, asbestos needs to be removed by a professional, and should be taken away immediately for specialist disposal. See the government’s asbestos Information website and your local council for full asbestos removal guidelines.

Know when to call in the professionals

DIY doesn’t mean you need to do everything yourself, and in some cases, it’s a legal requirement that you call in the professionals. For electrical and plumbing for instance, you should rely on professionals to ensure the job is done properly, and safely. Look at reviews and get a few quotes before hiring a contractor, and do always check that your contractor is licensed.

Gear up

Home renovations are messy to say the least, and there is plenty of scope for injury if you aren’t careful. Protective clothing including goggles, masks, footwear and headwear should always be worn on a job site, and that includes your own home. When buying masks from the hardware store, check to make sure you have the right type for the job that you will be using it for (it will be stated clearly on the packaging).

Know your tools

The right tools are also essential and don’t be tempted to take shortcuts by using very cheap tools or the wrong tool for a job. Research required tools before you buy, always read the manufacturer’s instructions, and follow directions carefully. Using a tool the wrong way may damage your materials, damage your home, and even cause serious injury.

Keep a clean work space

Seal off a space with tarps if you are only working on one section of a house. This will help dust from spreading throughout your home and help avoid accidents should family members wander into the area. It’s important to regularly dust and clean surfaces with a damp cloth to avoid a build-up of dust and dirt. A wet and dry vacuum can also be worth hiring or buying as this will be much more effective at catching dust than sweeping. Of course, a safe space is also a neat and tidy space. Always put tools away and follow safety precautions such as taping down cords and cables to ensure there is no chance of tripping. Do use only heavy-duty extension cords.

Know your products

Just as you need to know your tools, you also need to know what chemicals or products you are using. Again, research these before buying and opt for the safest alternatives where possible. If you are bringing chemicals into the home, you need to be very aware of the dangers and what safety precautions are required. Always use with protective masks, return lids to jars or cans as soon as possible, and keep them out of reach of young family members.

Home renovation help

Every home renovation is going to accumulate debris, and careful disposal of the debris is essential if you’re looking to keep your home and family safe. We provide skip bin hire for everything from small renovations to major builds, and you have the flexibility to keep your bin for as long as your renovation takes. To find out more, simply give us a call today.