Mackie wrote:............ I will be doing a lot of DIY and I was not encouraged with what I saw last time in the shops. Hopefully everything is there but maybe I was not looking in the right places!!.................the heating / cooling and other building work.
There are lots of places to buy DIY tools and materials from some quite large places to the equivalent of an old fashioned UK ironmongers, builders' merchants, woodyards, etc. There are still small places where there's no sign of what you want but ask and someone will climb a ladder and come down with four variations of whatever it is you want. One of the great things is that in most such places if you want seven screws of one size and four of another that's what you can buy, rather than plastic packs of 15. If you're a regular customer and want only, say, four tap washers at three cents each, payment is often refused. After a while it gets embarrassing so you find yourself buying something else you don't really want that costs enough that the shop owner will accept the money, usually about 50 cents.
A warning about DIY. It's fine if you are replacing things but if you're creating something new, even something like a garden wall, technically you need a licence and, in some cases, even if you do everything completely alone, you are required to pay IKA at the rate appropriate to the trade, e.g. a general labourer is at a lower rate than, say, a tiler or an electrician. For small works many people take a chance and get away with not getting permission but all it takes is a neighbour with a friend or relative who does the sort of work you're doing for a living to report and............. There's also the possibility that something you do makes the property 'illegal' i.e. it doesn't match the original, approved plans (which won't matter much until you come to sell).