Do you want to make your beautiful home even more beautiful?
If you’ve been considering this, then you must be looking for various DIY home improvement ways that you can remodel that kitchen, add that deck, or add that particular closet you’ve always desired while saving lots of cash on professional labour.
You’re not alone either. In fact, the figures show that 62% of Aussie home owners did some form of renovation on their property last year – or 8.4 million people.
Although DIY sounds easy in theory, it can turn into a real disaster very fast if you aren’t careful.
We’ve put together these common mistakes that a lot of DIYers make that you should avoid at all costs.
The next time you have some spare time on your weekend, keep these handy tips in mind.
DIY Mistake #1 – Not Putting Down a List
Before you begin any DIY project, it’s crucial to be well-familiar with what equipment and tools you’ll require for every step of the way. Productivity is not just for the office. It will dictate how successful your DIY project is too.
If you have to run to the hardware store in the middle of the project to pick up that specific set of missing nails, your project will be prolonged. A quick way that could ruin your project is by using the wrong tools.
Make sure to take your time to analyse your toolkit and be sure it’s equipped with the required materials.
DIY Mistake #2 – Not Acquiring a Permit
Although permits can be a daunting task and often seem just like another trick for the local government to get into your pocket, they’re essential. For starters, it’s illegal not to obtain a permit.
Consequently, when you construct something such as a deck without the necessary license, you’ll be fined by the construction company who will force you to tear it down or reconstruct it while adhering to the specifications they need.
What’s more, permits are primarily about safety. By implementing the local construction standards, these permits enable you to avoid injury, structural failure or fire. Also, the permit process secures future owners if you decide to move.
If you’re unsure if your project requires a permit, you could inquire from your local building authority. A good rule of thumb you could consider is that you’ll require a license for any project larger than wallpapering and painting.
DIY Mistake #3 – Buying Cheap Materials or Getting the Wrong Ones
Although it might make little or no difference to purchasing composite decking boards which have slightly different thickness as compared to the boards you read you need, it could be a significant impact if your joints are just a few millimetres apart.
There is no problem with trying to save some cash on materials if it makes no significant difference in the final product and longevity. If you don’t consider all the probabilities and clearly understand what your particular application needs, however, bargain hunting can bring real issues in the long haul.
According to the glaziers at Mark Rogerson Glass, getting the wrong materials is also a common problem. They say “starting with the wrong materials occurs as a result of not being fully aware of what your application needs. Paint, anchors, drywall, caulk, and even fasteners are all made for specific applications and using the wrong type of materials in the wrong kind of project can be a DIYer’s nightmare. You really do get what you pay for. So if you want your DIY project to last, pay what you need to pay.”
Ensure you do your homework and find out precisely what you require.
DIY Mistake #4 – Under-Budgeting and Under-Estimating
This is one of the most common and dangerous problems since you chose the DIY route to save cash in the first place.
However, there’s a reason why contractors take their time to keenly estimate since they don’t want to be buried in overages. A majority of homeowners have no idea about what hidden expenses that come with many home improvements. After they estimate lightly, they dive into a sea of financial hurt that leads causes them to leave their projects unfinished until when they can top up their bank accounts.
Set realistic goals to steer clear of the vicious cycle of leaving half-finished DIY projects. Every project will take a specific amount of time. In case you’re unsure of the duration a certain task should take, you could get in touch with your local hardware store, or you could search online for message boards with the same projects.
DIY Mistake #5 – Not Starting with Smaller Projects
Even though a new project can be exciting, it’s usually a DIYer’s most colossal mistake to take more than they can handle.
Both novices and experienced DIYers can cause problems when they have no clue what they’re doing. If it’s your first time to work with something electrical, don’t attempt to wire a new plug. It’s paramount that you be genuine of your ability to accomplish a project and don’t be scared to ask for help.
This is reinforced by the home experts at Glen Gilbertson Floor Sanding who note, “although you might be qualified for the job, it’s crucial to consider the time and money you’ll require to spend. Ensure to be well-invested in the process before you can start since the last thing you’d want is a half-finished project resting in your backyard. Half a deck can become a real eyesore if you bite off more than you can chew. Instead, start small with a little project and build up to the grand design.”
DIY Mistake #6 – Not Recording Accurate Measurements
Surprising as it might seem, most DIYers overlook the significance of precise measurements. However, inaccurate measurements are a guaranteed way to have a ruined project in the end.
To guarantee exact measurements, you need to learn how to correctly transfer measurement and ensure to adjust the tape measure to that particular job. Although the jumbo-size tape measures look powerful, you don’t require the big one for a smaller measuring project.
According to the Sydney gardening experts at Sergio’s Gardening, you can avoid any issues by making sure the equipment you use is 100% accurate. They recommend to “hold the work in place and mark directly on that piece when possible. Lastly, measure, re-measure, and do it one more time. There’s nothing worse than being short on turf, or materials, and spending valuable time and money to try and fill in the gaps.”
DIY Mistake #7 – Not exercising Safety
Although this mistake doesn’t necessarily impact the quality of your work, failure to follow proper safety precautions could get you in serious trouble, if not the hospital. It’s important that you always mind your safety while you’re carrying out any tasks around the house.
Some of the safety measures you could consider are:
- Wear safety goggles
- Turn off breakers
- Avoid standing on the top of your ladder
- Even if they’re in the way, don’t remove the saw guards
- A 2 person job shouldn’t be done with a single person, especially with some real ingenuity
Stay safe. Your welfare is of much importance compared to your home’s beauty.
DIY Mistake #8 – Not Asking the Professionals
We sometimes overlook the task at hand when it comes to DIY projects. Although some projects – such as painting, seating, or landscaping – can be tackled during the weekend, others – like closet installations, retaining walls, and outdoor pathways – are best left in the hands of professionals.
Driveway Doctor, who specialise in large scale resurfacing designs, recommend getting quotes from experts to see what would likely go into your DIY task. They say “perform extensive research, budget conservatively, and prepare for some additional expenses by ensuring the money is set aside if it happens. Before you choose to get to the DIY route, make sure to check out a few professional estimates. That will give you an idea of the scope of your project. It can’t hurt to ask the pros for tips too, the worst they can so is no!”
There’s no problem with some DIY whenever it’s appropriate. However, don’t get caught up by these examples of expensive mistakes in your attempts to stay frugal.
Now you’re ready to go out and make a DIY masterpiece.
So get to it!
Julian Parsons is an Australian writer and a business administration student living in Sydney. He is passionate about financial data and project management. Julian enjoys photography and when he’s not studying or writing, you’ll find him outdoors capturing shots of nature.