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Learn the basics of building with Dion

14 December 2018

HOMEmade builder Dion South shares his favourite building tip

Dion South

Builder, HOMEmade

New to the tools and looking for some practical advice? We asked HOMEmade DIY specialist, Dion South, for a few tips to help get you started.

What are the key tools you keep in your toolbelt?

For me, my number one tool is my trusty hammer. I make sure I carry practical tool belt items like a sharp pencil and a measuring tape. It’s a great idea to keep things in your belt that you’ll need to reach for throughout the day, so things like a square, nails and a few screws too.

How do you ensure you keep safe on a worksite?

The most important thing to keep safe is to remember “a clean site is a good site”. It’s about taking the time to make sure you’re staying tidy on the job, little things like putting away your off cuts and securing your leads so that you don’t trip over. A little bit of housekeeping never goes astray, especially when it comes to keeping yourself safe.

What should people do when looking to hire a builder for a job?

Choosing a builder can be tough, but my best advice would be to scope out their previous work and reputation. When you go and see projects they’ve completed, you’ll be able to see first-hand what their style is like, which is one of the most important things that you need to be comfortable with. Be sure to speak to their existing or recent clients to get a reference and discuss what their experience was like with the building company. And finally be sure ask the sort of work the builder specialises in, like whether it’s renovation or new builds and check that they hold the right qualifications for the work you’re looking to have them carry out. For example, they should be a licensed building practitioner to carry out any restricted building work.

What are your top rules of thumb that you follow when working on a project?

I’ll sound like a broken record, but having a tidy workspace is always number one for me, and I’m quite strict about that. Cleaning as you go and keeping things tidy throughout is the key to safety and means you don’t lose things. I always like to keep a good handle on the project overall, things like timings, budgets, other contractors coming in and out from the site. The key to a well-managed site is also working in sync with everyone and this will help to keep the project flowing nicely.

About the expert

Builder and renovation specialist Dion South is known for his eye for detail, and with over twenty years’ experience as a builder there’s not much he hasn’t built. He’s the perfect DIY guy to compliment Melissa’s flair for style and design, and Dan’s expertise in the garden.


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