It’s that time of the year. The weather’s fine, the days are long and there are all sorts of jobs around the house that need doing. Are you up for it? More importantly, are your DIY skills up for it?

Many of us may think that because we’ve done the basics such as cleaning windows, painting inside and out, cleaning gutters, weeding the garden, mowing the lawn, repairing garden furniture and fixing fence palings that we don’t need any training. We reckon we know it all.

Now that may be the case but today there are so many simple and cost-free ways to learn new DIY skills that you’ll be surprised if you look around.

There are web sites for all manner of DIY tasks and many have videos on the best way to do various tasks. You never know, you might discover a trick of the trade that will save you time and money and keep your back muscles from freezing up again. If you haven’t gone online and explored YouTube you’re seriously missing some valuable DIY tips and ideas.

Here are two major tips to make your DIY project go off with a bang. It’s the two Ps – Plan and Prepare.

Tackling a job on a whim can be counter-productive. Go through this routine:

Draw up a plan which includes the following:

What do I want to achieve?

What do I need to complete the task?

When is the best time to start?

 Your preparation includes checking the weather forecast if it’s an outside job; going to the garage or shed to be sure you have all the tools and materials; going shopping if you need something for the work; and double-checking the site to see that what you plan to do is what is needed.

 Is that it?

Not quite. Even if you follow all the advice set out above, you may still not feel confident you can complete the task to a very high standard. Let’s face, you live in your home. You don’t want to stare at that painting or plastering job which you botched and all just to save a few dollars.

There is an alternative and it goes under the name of the Grey Army. They are local tradies who know the work, the area and the needs of people just like you.

Your Grey Army soldier is happy to discuss the work beforehand offering free advice on the alternatives. They’re local, willing and able. Let them get your job done right, first time, every time.