How to get over DIY disappointments!

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Hello,

Sounds like a stupid problem, but I am constantly niggled by things that didn't quite work out as well as I had imagined they would around the house.

I'm a relative beginner at DIY so there's a learning curve going on, I accept that, but it's hard to live with the results of that and I don't always have time to re-do things again and again until i'm happy with them.

I am in a technical trade so probably a bit of a perfectionist, but can't help thinking I should be able to get over these things more easily, my wife is happy with the results, so why do they irritate me? It does feel childish.

Any recovering DIY perfectionists out there got any advice?

Cheers!
 
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What are the mistakes you speak of?

Generally though:
Measure once, twice and a third time to check the first 2.

Write your measurements down, draw things out on paper to be sure that this is what you actually do.

Use good quality tools (not Silverline or cheap crud) and use the right tool for the right purpose.

Read some DIY books - worth a read for the little info that you can actually glean from them.

Use bigger screws than you think it needs, use the right fittings/plugs/mountings for the wall they are to be used on.
Gripfil is good, poundland nonails is not.

Take your time, Rome was not built in a day.
If the hole is not looking like it will secure a plug and screw then fill it with gripfill before the plug then wait til it has cured before fitting the screw.

Use a good quality spirit level.
Get some DIY clothes - you work better in them - ones with fitted kneepads in the trousers and some basic safety gear - glases/gloves. Its amazing how better one works when fully kitted out like a pro. :)

Dont rush.
 
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Cheers Matty

I think rushing is one of my problems for sure, some really great advice there though!

The problems I am talking about are generally in getting a good finish, especially with wood. I have spent weeks sanding stairs and surfaces to what I think is a good fine finish only to get a slightly patchy result with hard wax oil and similar. Generally the 3rd time I do something I can get it bang on, but who wants to re-sand an entire staircase 3 times!! Finishing can be the toughest thing I reckon...
 
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when I first started out the old boys used to say there only two things y get with rushin" that's babies and blind kittens" Inever really knew what they meant but I think you get the drift
learn to draw things before you start it saves a lot of grief
 
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Things can go better when they go to a plan - I do them for most jobs.
(I also have a bad memory so they help).

I planned out my bedroom wardrobes, drew them all down to the dowel locations etc. They looked brilliant on paper and would have looked very good too.

Then I read my plan and decided I could not build them so bought some from Ikea instead, was much quicker and neater than I would have been :)

The moral of this is, when you are planning something also check to see if there is already an existing product that will do the job and save you lots of work.

Oh and decorators caulking can fill in a lot of gaps :)
 
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perfect you tecnique on a small item first thats your first mistake

you wouldnt start to drive in an artic or your first woodwork project would not be to build a staircase
 
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You're too close to the jobs you do. You see every little "fault" yourself, whereas others won't see anything wrong. All hand work of any type has flaws of some kind. Part of the skill of doing practical work of any kind is knowing what level of "fault" is acceptable and what is a bodge.
 
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You may even be autistic, you notice details others miss. But taking you staircase as an example , expectations are often unreasonable, some things are quicker and easier to replace than repair, you can build a new house usually quicker than renovating a dilapidated one , similarly you can replace a stair rail, spindles etc quicker than you can strip and repair.
 
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sometimes called a detail obsessive that's not a bad thing if your doing top end hardwood work such as teak decking where every mistake show's big time apparently it only takes 10,000 hours to become a virtuoso.
 
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sometimes called a detail obsessive that's not a bad thing if your doing top end hardwood work such as teak decking where every mistake show's big time apparently it only takes 10,000 hours to become a virtuoso.

I used to be in the business of designing and making "one off" hardwood furniture. So I know a bit about being detail obsessive. I used to drive myself mad with detail, and the clients would say "That's nice" :)

Still it's what's expected and what's paid for.

Any sort of fine woodwork is the same I imagine.

The "glaring horrible mistakes" I made (just a whisker too much off that particular dovetail. You know what I mean.) are never noticed. You see them. No one else does. Even people in the same line of work. My missus used to say, "I can't see anything wrong"

A bit of house bashing is a nice relaxing change. You can use filler and paint it over! :)

A bit of house
 
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You may even be autistic, you notice details others miss. .
Interesting observation
I am on Autistic spectrum myself, so notice what I consider obvious while the rest of the world is oblivious.
Me too - didn`t know until I was in my mid 40`s when a great GP we had suggested it - looked online , as you do and found my early life was a classic case :LOL: I won`t go on about it here ( probably boring to most people) but feel free to email me from my profile if you want to ;)
 
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DeKerf,
lol you could be my double. I'm exactly the same as you.
I've learned as i've gone on, certainly got better at DIY to a level where i'll happily tackle building an entire en-suite from scratch through to completion.
Easy for some, extremely daunting for others.

However, like you i see every flaw in my work and often wish i could redo it or wish i'd taken just a little more time and thought about it more.
Even now i still rush things. The counter to that is i often deliberate for far too long over a simple problem, which then turns it into a huge mental block for me. Take this weekend, drilling the holes for the bath taps, caused me plenty of anxiety, cos i knew if i got it wrong, uh-ohh, new bath! So i measured, checked, double-triple checked, until i was satisfied. Pretty sure my hands were shaking as i picked the drill up, lol. But it worked out fine.

I'll always make daft mistakes no matter how experienced i become and don't let any tradesman tell you otherwise, they all make dumb mistakes too no matter how good they are.

But you gotta roll with it mate, live and learn. What i've learned to do is look at a job i'm unhappy with and rather than think "i'll redo that" i think "what can i do different to make it better" as just redoing it taking more time may not be the solution. I'll ask advice if i don't have the answer myself.
Hope some of this helps and/or makes sense. :)
 
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.. for the brilliant advice.

I've been researching ways to overcome my perfectionism, I think it will make a real difference to me if I can get past it. In my everyday work, being detail focussed really helps me to succeed, but doing home improvements is something I dread because I am almost certain I won't get it right first time!

I have vowed to try to be happy with doing 90% of what i was aiming for from now on, and then just move onto the next job. I have a whole house to redecorate and re-landscape and I have spent 6 months on the first job!!!

Thanks again guys, sound advice.
 
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