DIY Nightmares

How to avoid turning your simple projects into costly mistakes


Pride tends to swell when homeowners successfully complete do-it-yourself projects on their homes. In addition to saving homeowners money, DIY projects provide a unique way for men and women to personally connect with their homes. The ability to look at a finished project and say it’s a result of your own handiwork can make a home feel more your own.

As fun and fulfilling as DIY projects can be, they also can be nerve-wracking and induce anxiety. When DIY projects falter, fixing them can prove costly, as homeowners typically must call in contractors to correct their mistakes and get a project back on track. That results in additional labor and material costs that might have been avoidable, especially for homeowners who make an effort to avoid some common DIY mistakes.

1. Failure to secure permits 

Even though homeowners own their homes, that does not mean they have carte blanche to do what they want with them. Many renovation projects require homeowners to secure permits before projects can commence. Some may even require additional permits as the projects advance. If proper permits are not secured, homeowners may be fined and projects may be nixed, regardless of how much money homeowners have spent up to that point. Before beginning a home renovation project, homeowners should always contact their local permit office to determine if any permits are required. notes that permits are often required for any project larger than painting or wallpapering.

2. Overestimating your abilities 

DIY television shows make home renovation projects look easy, but reality suggests otherwise. Homeowners with little or no experience renovating a home may want to take classes before they think about starting a project on their own. Even online tutorials tend to make jobs appear easier than they are. Roofing and plumbing projects tend to be best left to the professionals, as these projects can be either dangerous or vulnerable to disaster if not addressed by trained professionals.

3. Incorrect materials

Whether it’s to save money or a byproduct of inexperience, DIYers do not always choose the correct materials for a job. Experienced contractors have ample experience working with all sorts of materials and are therefore in a unique position to recommend the best materials for any given job. That resource is not available for DIYers, who must perform ample research before beginning a job so the project involves the most appropriate materials. Incorrect materials can be a sunken cost that derails a project, but even jobs completed using incorrect materials may need to be redone a lot more quickly than those that employed the right materials the first time.

Many home renovation projects can be completed without the help of professional contractors., especially when homeowners take steps to avoid some of the more common mistakes made by DIYers.