How to Stay Safe During DIY Home Renovation: Top 6 Tips

Home renovations can be a fascinating and fun experience; however, it’s vital to consider the potential risks involved. Hence, to follow the saying, “Prevention is better than cure,” Gharpedia offers some home renovation safety tips to avoid any mishaps, just in case you are planning to take up any DIY project.

Home renovations, especially those of the DIY kind, have grown in popularity over the years thanks to social media. Even before social media, home renovations were popular among the public because of reality TV shows like Property Brothers, This Old House, Income Property, Love It or List It, etc.

Do-It-Yourself or DIY home renovation projects are a popular trend, as several social media influencers are interior designers and practitioners of various crafts like wood carvers, resin artists, etc. Some of these projects are fun to do by yourself, and the other, more complicated projects, are fun to do with friends and family.

However, as fun as these projects look, they can be dangerous, and there is a potential for loss of life with even the smallest mistake. This is because such projects generally involve the use of dangerous power tools, electrical wiring, sharp objects, and heights. The dangerous TikTok trend of fractal wood burning, for example, has led to the deaths of many people across the world because they did not take proper safety precautions.

Home improvement projects must be viewed as a dangerous endeavor from the outset. So, it is crucial for you to take the necessary precautions to safeguard your life and the lives of the people around you.

In this article, we will have a look at some dos and don’ts when it comes to safety precautions during a house renovation.

DIY Home Renovation Safety Tips

Here are some home renovation safety tips you should follow when undertaking a DIY project:

01. Safety Precautions Before Starting The DIY Project

Precautions Before Starting the DIY Project

Follow the below safety tips at home to protect yourself from any possible mishap before you start your project.

01. Inform Affected Groups

If you are living in an apartment building or in a community, be sure to inform the affected groups, like building occupants, workers, building owners, and community members, before you start work. Keep them informed about the type, length, and goals of the renovation activities, the health and safety aspects of the project, and site access requirements and limitations. Doing this will not only prevent any altercations, but it will also help your neighbours take preventive measures of their own to avoid PCB dust-related issues.

02. Only Take on Tasks You Can do Safely

Be sure that you only take on tasks that you feel you can do safely. If you are afraid of heights, avoid carrying out any work on roofs or ladders. Leave these tasks to professionals. The same goes for using power or specialized tools you are not familiar with, electrical circuits.

03. Remove or Cover Up Furniture

Cover Up Furniture

Any home improvement project will generate a lot of fine dust. Hence, it is crucial to protect your furniture, books, photo frames, and other objects from it. You can either completely remove all the furniture and other effects or cover them up with heavy plastic sheeting. Fine dust is notorious for going deep into the fabric and being difficult to clean, causing allergies and other dust-related issues.

04. Use Tools That are in Good Condition

Avoid using shabby or damaged tools, as they pose a risk to your health and safety. Damaged tools can include chipped blades, frayed wiring, cracked handles, and missing components like screws and knobs. If the damage is minor, send the tools for repair and if the damage is major, replace the tools. If you don’t have the budget to buy a new one, borrow one from your family or friends. It is not worth risking your life and physical health over a home renovation project.

05. Use Sharp Blades

If your tools have sharp blades, they will work better, even if they can be dangerous. Saws, chisels, and other tools with blades require less force to slice through objects when they have sharp blades.
Dull blades require more force, opening the door to slips and accidents. You can either sharpen the blades when they get dull or replace them when they can no longer be sharpened.

06. Wear Appropriate Gear

Wear Appropriate Gear

The first step to ensuring your safety is to invest in good-quality protective gear and equipment. They will protect you from prolonged use of tools, hazardous materials, or accidents. These tools can be respirators, disposable masks, rubber gloves, chemical-resistant gloves, safety glasses, protective headgear, and noise-reducing ear muffs or ear plugs. Another important piece of safety gear to own is work boots. These are better at protecting your feet from punctures and lacerations than ordinary footwear.

07. Be Well Rested

Home renovations can be very exhausting, and you will find yourself using muscles you don’t typically use, causing aches and soreness. Keep yourself hydrated, eat well, take breaks, and have enough rest during the day, so you don’t wear yourself out. Do not work with tools or make decisions when you are fatigued or strained.

08. Use Guides and Guards

Power tools often come with guards and guides that allow you to use them safely. Some of these guides may get in the way and make use of the tool a little annoying, but you should learn to work with them rather than take them off. They are there to protect you. Take the retractable blade guards on circular saws, for example. They can make cutting at certain angles hard, but you can always try to reposition and find the right angle to use. You can also try pulling the guards back a bit to achieve certain goals, but don’t remove them entirely. The guides and guards are there for a reason; to protect you from harm.

09. Read the User Manual

Read the User Manual

Almost every product sold in stores comes with a user’s manual with instructions. Be sure to read the instructions, cautions, and other relevant content before using the tools.

10. Proper Footing

Always ensure that you have proper footing wherever you stand. It could be when you are standing in your workshop while working with a table saw or standing on a ladder. No matter what you are doing, it is important that the ground or object you stand on is stable and that you can keep your balance.

Avoid stepping on paint buckets, tools, boards, or other items while holding cutting tools, drilling equipment, or when tightening or relaxing objects. Keep both feet on the ground or ladder, unless you must move.

11. Right Tool for the Right Project

Right Tool for the Right Project

DIY home improvement enthusiasts might not always have the tools required to do the work. Hence, they might settle for the tools they have in their possession. Focus on specific tools because using tools to do a task they aren’t designed for will only increase the risk of an accident.

12. Work Outdoors Only in Good Weather

Avoid exterior home remodelling work or working on the roof during bad weather, especially if your roof is very steep.

13. Proper Lighting Conditions

Avoid working in poorly lit environments. Always ensure that your workspace is bright enough, so you can see clearly and prevent mistakes and injuries.

14. Don’t Meddle with Gas Pipes

Gas is highly flammable, and even one small misstep can lead to disaster. Delegate work relating to gas pipes to professional technicians to avoid accidents or fires. If you know what you are doing, and you suspect a leak, test the connections by applying soapy water to them. Gas will make it bubble. Never test for gas leaks with fire.

15. Invest in a Good Fire Extinguisher

Invest in a Good Fire Extinguisher

As a rule, all homes should have at least two working A-B-C fire extinguishers. Ensure that they are big enough to handle a house fire and have a rating of a minimum size of “2A10BC”. Keep them fully charged.

16. Don’t Underestimate Hand Tools

When you think of power tools, you can easily imagine the dangers associated with using them. However, hand tools are just as likely to injure you if you are not careful. Injuries typically occur when people use the tool without knowing how to do so. Understand that all tools have the potential to cause harm. Always read the instructions before using them to avoid injury to yourself and others, and use the same caution with hand tools as you would with power tools.

17. Keep a First-Aid Kit Ready

Keep a First-Aid Kit Ready

You can prepare your own first-aid kit or buy one from the store. It should be according to the specifications of the American Red Cross for emergencies.

18. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Always be aware of your surroundings when you are working on a project. You can never be too careful when using dangerous tools and materials. Keeping your wits about you is the key to reducing the risk of accidents and injury. Additionally, it’s crucial to watch out for potential hazards like slippery surfaces to prevent slip and fall injuries. Learn more about how to stay safe in your workspace by being vigilant and proactive.

Now, let’s look at safety dos and don’ts in different scenarios.

02. Home Renovation Safety Tips For Working With Electrical Wires And Circuitry

Home renovation safety tips for working with electrical wires and circuitry

You should follow all the below given electrical safety tips at home:


  • Ensure that the entire electrical setup is safe and that the location of your work is not wet. See to it that all power tools and outlets are properly grounded. Never overload the circuit.
  • Turn off the power to outlets and switches before you remove the cover plates.
  • Turn off the power at the main service panel before you make any electrical connections and install junction boxes.
  • Turn off the main power before you touch or work around any electrical wires.
  • Turn off the power at the main service panel before you repair receptacles.
  • One of the best home electrical safety tips is to turn off the main power before repairing or replacing switches.


  • Don’t join aluminium and copper wires, as they react with each other and can lead to electrical faults?

03. Safety Tips for Home For Working With Chemicals & Other Toxic Materials

Safety Tips for Working with Chemicals

The following are the safety tips for home for working with chemicals and other toxic materials.


  • Wear appropriate work gloves when handling chemicals, doing heavy construction, or moving and piling wood.
  • Wear disposable masks when sawing or sanding wood, acrylic, or other materials.
  • Use special filtering respirators when dealing with toxic solvents and substances.
  • Protect your eyes with safety goggles when painting ceilings.
  • Work in well-ventilated areas when working with solvent cleaners and glue, as they give off harsh and volatile fumes.
  • Hire home renovation contractors to remove asbestos roof shingles.
  • Read the labels on solvents, paints, and other products before using them. Ensure that your workspace is well-ventilated and follow all other precautions mentioned on the labels.

04. Best Home Safety Tips For Working With Power Tools And Hand Tools

Safety Tips for Working with Power Tools and Hand Tools

The following are the best home safety tips for working with power and hand tools.


  • Read the instructions on the tool, especially the warning, before using it.
  • When working with a table saw, use push and hold-down sticks if possible.
  • Check if all new adjustments are locked before you use the tool. The bevel adjustment on a portable saw or a rip fence on a table saw are some examples.
  • Pay attention to the working of the tool, so you can avoid injury.
  • Know your tools’ limitations and don’t use them for work that they are not meant for.
  • Clamp small pieces to a bench or any other work surface if you are going to use a power tool on them.
  • Protect your eyes with appropriate eyewear to avoid flyaway chips when striking metal or concrete with metal or using power tools.
  • Keep your hands away from sharp blades, bits, and cutters.
  • Use both your hands for a firm grip when working with a circular saw so that you know exactly where your hands are.
  • When using a drill with large bits, use an auxiliary handle to control the torque and try to avoid using short pieces.
  • Protect your eyes and ears with safety glasses and hearing protection gears respectively, when you use a stud driver.
  • Use a GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters) protected cord when you use power tools outdoors.


  • Don’t use power tools under the influence of drugs or alcohol or are very tired.
  • Avoid using power tools to cut tiny pieces of wood or pipe. Instead, cut small pieces from larger ones.
  • Don’t change components like drill bits, or saw blades without first unplugging the power cord. It is insufficient to merely turn off the switch, as you might accidentally turn it on.
  • Don’t work with dull tools. Get them sharpened by a professional, or do it yourself if you know how.
  • Don’t use a power tool on large or small work pieces without first properly securing them.
  • Don’t saw a large work piece between saw-horses without close support on either side of the cut. Doing so would cause the piece to bend and jam the blade, which could lead to a saw kickback.
  • Don’t use your leg or other body parts to support a work piece from underneath when using a saw.
  • Don’t carry sharp tools in your pockets. Use a tool belt with pockets and holders if you want to carry around sharp tools like awls, chisels, or utility knives.

05. Home Renovation Safety Tips For Working On Garage Doors

Home Renovation Safety Tips for Working on Garage Doors

The following are the best home repair safety tips to consider when you are repairing or renovating garage doors.


  • Disconnect the power to the garage door opener before you start making any necessary adjustments.
  • Prop the garage door open before you start work to relieve the tension on the springs. If released suddenly, springs can cause injuries.


  • Never adjust torsion springs yourself. It can be dangerous because they are made of denser material than regular springs. Get a technician to make the adjustments.

06. Other Scenarios

Home Renovation Tips for Other Scenarios

Following are the crucial safety tips for home to take into account when you conduct any DIY project:


  • One of the best home renovation safety tips in any situation is to stay focused on your task and alert. Be aware of what is happening, as your body’s reflexes may not be fast enough to save you from injury in every situation.
  • Update yourself on the local building codes before planning a renovation project, and follow them obediently. The codes are in place to protect public safety.
  • Check for hidden bee, bird and animal nests when working in elevated areas of your home. A sudden encounter with any of them can lead to injury.
  • Use a dust mask or respirator and safety goggles when sanding and removing plaster and wallboard to protect yourself from harmful dust.
  • Get someone to help you when you use ladders or scaffolds to paint the ceiling or hang ceiling borders.
  • Turn off your propane torch immediately after use. Beware of the hot pipes and fittings immediately after soldering.
  • When insulating your home, wear work gloves, particle masks, safety glasses, and long-sleeved clothing.
  • Always use a ladder or scaffolding when working at elevations. These need to be firm and secure.
  • Always keep your work clothes separate from your regular ones. Follow the same rule when washing them. Remember that paint, solvent, and other stains are very hard to remove, so think twice about what you want to wear when working on the home renovation project.
  • Keep your workspace clean and free of debris and dirt. Unlike professional construction crews, as a DIY enthusiast, you must be your own safety manager and clean up after yourself. Be sure to pick up stray scraps of wood and pieces of plumbing off the floor. Put away screws, nails, and other items. Wrap up the cords after use, put them and the tools back in their cases, and return them to the storage cabinet or shelf. A clean workspace will help prevent slips, trips, injuries, and accidents.


  • Don’t wear loose clothing while working. Close the cuffs of your sleeve, tuck in your shirt, tie your hair, and remove any hanging jewelry. Doing so before you start work will stop them from tangling in the tools and causing accidents and injuries.
  • Don’t work in poor lighting conditions. Always keep your workspace properly lit so that you have full visibility, especially when working indoors.
  • Never place ladders or scaffolding on uneven or unstable surfaces. You must always be on firm and stable footing, so there is no risk of a fall when working at elevations.
  • Don’t be in a hurry to complete the project, as you will end up making careless mistakes and sustaining unnecessary injuries. Try taking a few days off from the project if you are feeling stressed. Or, you can stop work on the project early to clean up and clear the workspace of stray materials, wires, etc. so you don’t injure yourself when rushing to the office the next day. It is always better to put the work off until the next weekend or whenever you are free than to put it off indefinitely due to an injury.

Additional Pointers by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Additional Pointers by EPA

If you live in the United States and are looking to start a DIY home renovation project, you can follow these additional pointers from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • Wear Tyvec disposable coveralls and shoe covers as part of your protective gear.
  • Set up the work area in such a way that prevents the spread of dust, especially when there is a potential for PCB-containing caulk and other building materials. Apply heavy plastic sheeting (4 or 6-mil plastic) on the ground, floor, and other surfaces to prevent contamination of the building with the dust generated by the exterior or interior renovation work.
  • Use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) tools to minimise the release of dust.
  • Prevent the spread of debris in the surrounding environment by encasing the work area with heavy plastic sheeting. Use tape or wood strips and staples to secure the plastic sheets to the exterior wall.
  • Close windows and doors and seal off any vents or air exchange systems in the building located in the work area when engaging in dust-generating activities.
  • Use tools that minimise the generation of heat and dust where possible to prevent the spread of contaminants like PCB dust and gases.
  • Clean your tools at the end of the day, and clean or dispose of your protective gear.
  • Mist dusty sections of plastic sheeting with water before taking them down.
  • Scrub the work area with a detergent or general-purpose cleaner on a mop or wet rag till all dust and debris are removed. Check and re-check to see if you missed any dust or debris.

List of Cleaning Supplies and Tools Suggested By the EPA for Use during Renovation Work

List of Cleaning Supplies and Tools
  • Plastic bags (heavy-duty)
  • Masking, painter’s, or duct tape
  • Pump sprayer or misting bottle
  • Hand towels or disposable wet wipes
  • Buckets or a double-sided bucket with a mop wringer
  • Mop and disposable mop heads
  • Rake and Shovel
  • General-purpose cleaner or detergent
  • HEPA vacuum with attachments and a powered beater bar

If you want to know more about the EPA’s guidelines on renovation or remodelling work, check out this article.

In conclusion, DIY home renovation projects can be a budget-friendly, exciting, and fun way to add life to your home. However, safety should always take priority over fun and budgetary concerns. Always ensure that you follow all home renovation safety tips and take on tasks you feel safe doing.  Don’t hesitate to call on home improvement contractors for dangerous or complicated matters. Home improvement professionals handle dangerous tasks and have the knowledge required to give you the best results.

We hope that this article has helped you understand the risks involved in DIY home remodelling projects and the home renovation safety tips you should employ.

Image Courtesy: Image 2, Image 9, Image 10, Image 11, Image 12, Image 13, Image 14

Author Bio

Andrea Noronha – Andrea Noronha is a content writer and editor with over 4 years of experience. Although she comes from a finance background, Andrea is passionate about blogging about interior design. Her other interests include travelling, baking, and digital marketing.

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