DIY

When something goes wrong in the home, it can be tempting to try and fix it on your own to save money and time. However, attempting complex your work can be unwise – UK consumer watchdog Which? found that 65% of homeowners underestimated DIY complexity, leading to mistakes and costly repairs. Sometimes, getting the work done right first time could be a case of having an expert lend a hand if you don’t want to bring in professionals.

This can be difficult in a foreign country, however, with language and cultural barriers in the way. That being said, knowing where to turn to help with DIY problems should be part of your knowledge before acquiring your Haarlem home. The good news is that between the internet, government regulation and the city community itself, you won’t be in short supply of help.

Finding a quality workman

The first step to fixing your DIY problem is finding a professional expert to help you. Like with all things in life, it is crucial to ensure that the person helping is a legitimate professional and not a scammer. The Dutch Payments Association have reported credit and debit card fraud is rising, demonstrating the necessity to make sure you’re getting a legitimate workman. A great way to do this is to look for if they have a membership of a professional association. For instance, if you have a plumbing issue, you can avoid falling victim to a plumbing scam by ensuring your plumber is a member of  UNETO-VNIK and KvNIL. As the professional bodies for plumbers and, in KvNIL’s case, all quality hardware installation companies in the country, being a member of these associations will signify a quality partner to work with.

Establishing what you need to be done

With a language barrier, cultural differences, differences in the cost and availability of materials and unfamiliarity with the terms, it can be difficult to establish and discuss exactly what your problem is. This can be further complicated when you’ve taken on some aspect of the work yourself, and there are changes present in the original piece.

A good first step is to use comprehensive translation apps. Modern technology has allowed us all to communicate seamlessly and communicate the message required through such apps. Secondly, adapt to your DIY expert’s needs. Do they have specific knowledge of your setup? Can you clearly explain the changes you’ve made, if any, and their impact?

Finding a professional

If all else fails, you can find a professional to help rectify the work. Follow the above steps to establish someone to complete the work, and communicate with them clearly. It may be better to take advantage of local council services to investigate any subsidies or tactics that can help when hiring a professional to work on your project.

A botched DIY job can be costly, but it doesn’t have to be a total disaster. Whether you’re using a DIY expert to help advise on your problem, or a professional to entirely overhaul your mistake, there are options out there. Be diligent in finding a professional, do your best to communicate the problem clearly, and don’t be ashamed to swallow your pride in the worst case.

Jane Sandwood

Jane Sandwood

Jane grew up in Kent and has spent most of her career working in international trade before starting a family. By wanting to spend more time with her young children she found herself moving into working from home then freelance writing. Now she's campaigning to help end isolation; especially for older adults who have lost their old support structures.
Jane Sandwood

Latest posts by Jane Sandwood (see all)