DIY projects can be a great way to add value to your home, but it’s easy to make a costly mistake. Whether you’re making upgrades before selling your home or simply want to make your space your own, avoiding these common mistakes will help you succeed with your DIY home projects.
Measure Twice, Cut Once.
Measurement mistakes are common with DIY projects. If you’re not careful, you may end up with crooked lines, too little material, or a finished project that looks amateur. Cutting too long still gives you the option to trim away the excess material. Cutting too small may waste limited material or lead to a piece-mealed finished project with more seams and edges than you wanted. Avoid headaches and frustration by measuring carefully before you start your DIY project.
Know Your Limits.
When you catch the DIY bug, you may find yourself wanting to DIY your entire home! But step back and avoid taking on more than you can chew. DIY projects can take on a life of their own. Think about all the work that will go into the project (and plan on spending extra time for unexpected obstacles) before you commit to the project. You don’t want to start a project, only to run out of time or budget halfway through. Tackle one project at a time so you can devote your limited resources to completing the project.
Avoid Trendy Fads.
Many DIY projects help homeowners bring modern trends into their homes. But avoid picking projects that are too trendy. Fads come and go. Before you pick a hyper-trendy design, ask yourself if it will still look good once the fad has passed. It’s often best to pick a neutral, classic design if you’re looking to sell your home in the near future. If you’re not sure whether a specific project is too trendy, ask your REALTOR for advice. Real estate agents have seen many successful (and failed) DIY home projects and can provide valuable guidance tailored to your home.
Ask For Help.
Another common problem when taking on a DIY project is not knowing when to ask for help. DIY is often a great alternative, but if you’re in doubt, hire an expert. The larger the project, the more chance that something could go wrong. If you have the skillset to tackle your own construction, plumbing, or electrical work, go for it! But if you don’t, ask for help from an experienced professional. Your REALTOR can recommend local contractors, plumbers, and electricians to help with your home projects.
DIY projects can be a fun and easy way to add character to your home. With careful planning, attention to detail, and a willingness to ask for help when you need it, you can avoid common DIY mistakes for a successful project.
Originally published November 2, 2017 — Updated April 30, 2020