Do-it-yourself projects are popping up everywhere, especially when it comes to home renovations. Before you get started, take a look at Warner Service’s comprehensive list to the most common DIY mistakes and how you can avoid them:
You forgot about safety. Hopefully you’re reading this before you forget about safety because there’s a reason people say, “Safety first.”
Gather goggles, a hard hat, thick gloves, a sturdy set of boots, and a first-aid kit. Also, secure your home by turning off the electrical lines and stabilizing any structures like ladders.
You skipped the prep work. Do it the right way, right away. Take the time to lay down painter’s tape, take care of your existing appliances, and other chores before you begin renovations. If you don’t...
You inaccurately measured something. One of the costliest renovation mistakes is inaccurately measuring a new installation. Imagine reinstalling kitchen cabinets then realizing that the refrigerator doesn’t fit. It could've been avoided by measuring more than once and getting a second opinion on the dimensions.
You didn’t get a permit. Some home renovations require a permit and others don’t. Since laws vary depending on where your home is located, research the zoning and permits in your area.
You used the wrong tools. As a temporary fix, duct tape shouldn’t be used for more than a few hours. That being said, don’t go rummaging through your toolbox and plugging in every power tool you own. Take some time to look up which tools you’ll need before you begin the renovation.
You made a room too trendy. Being eco-friendly never goes out of style, but the bolder a room's theme is, the lower your home’s resale value could be. Stick with energy-efficient appliances, classic paints, and subtle furniture for a look that’ll withstand the test of time.
You picked the wrong materials. Did you know flat paint is for ceilings and walls while semi-gloss paint is for bathroom and dining room trim? On top of that, it's a wise investment to go green, starting with your windows. Focus on purchasing high-quality glass and frames for those that face the street -- and don’t skimp on the good kitchen countertop.
Your budget is for the wrong renovations. Would you rather install a bathroom membrane system to ensure that you never have a mold problem or put the shower on the opposite wall? Aesthetics make a beautiful home, but functionality makes it practical.
You failed to anticipate chaos. Renovations seldom work out seamlessly. Budget for 15 to 30 percent more than your principal renovation cost to account for potential accidents. Create “want” and “must-have” lists, and keep a step-by-step log of how your renovation will be completed.
You DIY projects that you just shouldn’t. It’s better to call a plumber to install a floor drain in the laundry room than to attempt the project yourself, and it’s better to hire a quality contractor than to start demolishing the wrong walls. Do you see where we're going with this?
You changed your mind. Nothing is worse than changing your mind in the middle of a renovation. Putting in an extra electrical outlet or expanding the door by an inch may seem like a simple last-minute to-do, but it probably takes more effort than that. Lay out your renovation plans entirely before you begin.
Though renovating your home is an exciting process, getting too excited can be a costly mistake. From inaccurate measurements and inflexible budgets to lack of permits and safety regulations, there are quite a few mishaps that can occur with home renovations. Remember to take your time, plan, research, and execute properly.
If you need more of Warner Service’s advice, contact us today.