DIY Courses

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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What is it

For the vast majority of us, our homes are beyond our comprehension. Most of us do not know how to repair leaks, install and fix appliances, lay tiles or hang doors. Instead, we put our faith in the expertise of others when things go wrong or something needs to be done. No question it s easier that way but it s far costlier too. However, with a bit of get-up-and-go it s possible to change this unhappy state of affairs as doing a part-time course in DIY will help make both costliness and helplessness things of the past.

What does it involve

There is a healthy level of variety among the DIY courses out there, which is a good thing as it means that learners can accumulate important home improvement skills in several specific areas. Before we get to them though, let s look at some of the more general DIY options that are at our disposal.

When we talk of DIY, we are generally referring to an activity that is related to home improvement, maintenance or repair. A typical House Maintenance or DIY course will give participants step-by-step instructions on the various aspects of plumbing and heating systems, home decoration, shelving, flooring and skirting, and electrical repairs. Due to the fact that safety is paramount on such courses, instructors will also dedicate a significant amount of time to the safe use of work tools and the elements of best practice on-site.

While DIY courses tend to be wide-ranging and will cover the area of electrical repairs, a more specific course on the topic will naturally cover more ground (or wiring). An Electricity in the Home course will introduce students to the basics in a systematic way, with modules on safety, economical usage, energy ratings for various appliances, immersions, timers, security lighting, and care and maintenance. Another related option is the course on Domestic Appliance Repairs, which will teach learners how to get the most from their washing machines, cookers, tumble dryers, dishwashers and so on.

Having ongoing access to a clean water supply and central heating are other necessities of domestic comfort. Courses in Basic Household Plumbing and Maintenance will give students a good understanding of how plumbing and central heating works in the home. This includes learning about how a plumbing system works, its layout and control, the different boiler systems and their energy ratings; how to assemble water pipes, protect them against frost and deal with them if they burst. Course participants will also take a look at the electronic controls for a heating system.

While the aforementioned courses will no doubt be of great value to just about anyone, those who are thinking about embarking on a major construction project might be more interested in enrolling on a course in Designing and Building a Home. By participating in this programme, students will learn how to go about planning an extension, putting together a design from scratch, or restoring what is already there. Some of the areas covered include: design techniques in construction, building regulations and planning permission, energy ratings and efficiency, retrofitting, insulation types, green energy heating systems and external finishes.

Why do it

The primary reason for doing a DIY course is fairly obvious it will help save you money. After all, paying to enrol on a DIY programme is likely to work out far cheaper in the long run than enlisting the services of a professional. This is not to suggest that doing a DIY course will mean that you will never need to call a tradesman again; it simply means that you will have to do so far less often. What s more, knowing how to go about tackling the problems on you snag list will also give you a sense of empowerment as you get to rely on your own ingenuity and skills rather than those of a stranger.

What comes next

Getting to know the ins and outs of home maintenance would no doubt be beneficial to anyone looking to find work as an apprentice electrician, plumber or as a general tradesman. However, for the bulk of people that complete such programmes, the gains tend to be personal. For instance, they can set out on their own restoration or construction projects, or they can put to rights those nagging household problems that might otherwise force them to raid the piggy bank.

At a glance

Part-time DIY, Plumbing and Electrical courses are all of a similar duration and price; that is, they run for approximately 10 weeks and are very affordable, costing from 100 to 200.


Frank Bolger

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