Even if you're not cut out for high-level DIY projects, many homeowners can manage minor repairs in a pinch. Here are a few mistakes to watch out for if you're new to home improvement:
9 DIY Mistakes for Home Improvement Newbies to Avoid
- Jury-rigging. Using only what you have on hand to do a repair, instead of purchasing all the needed materials, can be asking for trouble down the road. It's one thing to be in a situation where you need a temporary makeshift repair until you can fix it permanently, but fix it correctly for the long term.
- Not finishing the job. It's easy to forget to finish things up once the immediate issue is resolved, but leaving a job half-finished is like having a ticking time bomb in your home. Finish the work in its entirety as soon as possible.
- Using Drain-O. Any chemical you pour down your drain that's harsh enough to dissolve a blockage is also harsh enough to damage the pipes. Call the plumber and spend a little money now to avoid expensive repairs down the line.
- Using duct tape for everything. It may be the handyman's secret weapon, but duct tape isn't a reliable fix. Repair things correctly for a longer-lasting fix.
- Haphazard drilling. Putting a hole in the wrong place could be more than just an inconvenience; it could also cause major issues that are more expensive to repair. Measure carefully before drilling, and make sure you know what you'll be drilling into before you begin.
- Not allotting enough time. Never assume you'll have the job done in a short amount of time, no matter how easy it seems. Plan additional time for any unforeseen delays.
- Doing the floor first. If you have a number of projects to do, starting with the floor can result in your repaired or refinished floor getting damaged. Instead, start at the top and work your way down.
- Neglecting safety precautions. Forgetting about safety precautions, such as calling the utility company before you start digging in your yard or turning off the breakers before working on the wiring, can lead to disaster. Always put safety first and take all necessary precautions.
- Doing a job you are unfamiliar with. Trying to do a job that is beyond your range of expertise could result in a more expensive repair, or worse, an emergency call. Do your research before tackling the job, and if it seems like too much for you, call in a professional.
Part of the difference between a beginner and a seasoned DIYer is knowing the most common pitfalls. By adhering to the guidelines spelled out in this series, you’ll ensure each home improvement project is a success. Check out our previous installments here:
- Home Improvement Mistakes to Avoid Pt. 1
- Home Improvement Mistakes to Avoid Pt. 2
- Home Improvement Mistakes to Avoid Pt. 3