A good time to complete the DIY jobs you never finished

A woman home decorating

Although there are signs of lockdown easing on the horizon, we are all still spending unprecedented periods of time in our homes. And in many cases, that’s exposed us to all those little home improvement projects we always meant to get around to, or the half-finished jobs that were never completed. It’s hard not to notice yellowing skirting boards while playing on the floor with a toddler and a mossy overgrown lawn will be a particular disappointment given our current reliance on private outdoor space.

Home improvement stores have remained open for most of the lockdown period, allowing people to resolve emergencies like burst pipes. With more and more companies resuming trading in one form or another, it’s becoming easier to source a wide array of materials for home and garden projects. This is allowing people to finish off DIY jobs which help to make our homes more presentable and pleasant – even if house guests probably won’t notice once they’re allowed to visit us again…


Dripping taps, wobbly dining chairs, rawlplugs working their way out of plasterwork… Unless you’re a DIY fanatic, your home is likely to need ongoing minor repairs. These can often be resolved with basic tools like an adjustable wrench, or various drill bit thicknesses. Strong adhesives may prolong the life of broken furnishings by bonding detached surfaces back together, though great care is needed while the glue sets to avoid anything else sticking to it. It’s worth levelling off uneven furnishings like tables by applying felt pads underneath their legs, which also prevents them scraping the floor as they’re moved. And speaking of floors, fine graphite powder stops exposed boards from squeaking, though it requires careful application.


Lawns are particularly hard to maintain in areas with clay soil, which resists root growth and is prone to flooding. Periodically scarifying the ground helps to improve drainage, giving plants more room to grow. A bag of combined weed, feed and moss killer can perk up a languishing lawn, though closely following the supplied instructions is crucial to avoid a patchwork quilt of dense green and discoloured yellow patches. Even if your water pressure is low, a pressure wash removes moss and ingrained dirt from flagstones, but be careful on monoblock since it’s easy to blast out the sand holding each brick in place. Painting or creosoting fences, decking and sheds is messy yet necessary to preserve outdoor timber, and wooden sheds periodically need their felt roofs replacing to prevent moisture seeping in.


Unless you want to undertake a whole-room refurbishment, touch-ups are the order of the day at present. It’s possible to buy packs of wax sticks online which can be used to repair chips or dents in wooden or laminate floors, combining different waxes for an optimal colour match.

Similarly, tester paint pots are surprisingly effective at covering up surface damage to paintwork, while a delicate application of paint could also reduce the visual impact of a cracked tile or ripped wallpaper if they aren’t easily replaceable. Cracks in plasterwork occur naturally as a property gently settles, and should be treated the same as small dents; insert filler with a spatula or palette knife, before sandpapering the surface smooth and lightly applying touch-up paint.

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