Whether you're doing a repair or a renovation, no one wants to be the next Pinterest fail or an example of what not to do. To help ensure your project gets off on the right foot, here are 9 big-picture home improvement mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Ignoring codes. Whether you are doing minor home maintenance projects or a major remodel, if your work doesn't meet local building codes you may have to redo it or even tear it down. Protect yourself from the worst-case scenario by researching local building codes early in the planning process.
2. Skipping the permit. Not getting the proper permits isn't just illegal, it may also make it difficult to sell your house later, particularly if the work you did isn't to code. Always err on the side of caution, and if you're not sure whether you need a permit, call the permit office and ask.
3. Not budgeting enough. Home improvements and renovations don't always go as planned. Budgeting up to 30 percent extra will ensure you have enough to cover any unforeseen expenses without putting you over budget.
4. Using the wrong tools. Using the wrong tools for the job could damage materials, require a redo or even create a bigger problem than when you started. Do your research and spend the money to ensure that you have the right tools for the job.
5. Investing in the wrong materials. Choosing the wrong paint, purchasing the wrong type of drywall or buying the wrong size hardware could result in wasted time and money – or worse, damage to your home. Do your research and invest in quality materials for the best results.
6. Leaving temporary repairs in place. A temporary repair can fail if it's left for too long, causing an even bigger problem. If you rig something until you can get around to doing a more thorough repair, be sure to set a reminder so that you don't forget to follow through.
7. Winging measurements. Not measuring properly could result in a door that doesn't have room to open, a hole where you didn't want it or various other problems. Like the old adage says, measure twice and cut (or drill) once.
8. Digging blindly. Whether you're updating the landscaping or burying lines, it’s imperative to know what’s below the surface before you begin digging. Always call the utility company to have lines marked before digging.
If you’ve enjoyed these tips, stay tuned for the next installment in our series of home improvement mistakes to avoid.