You’ve been scouring over Pinterest pinning home improvement ideas left and right, and cannot wait to begin your home improvements. Some ideas you find may seem easy, and you figure if you start small you can work your way up to the bigger projects. But fast-forward and your lack of experience and good intentions combine to create a Pinterest mishap that will probably cost more to repair than to have initially hired a professional. So if you are really considering what may seem like a simple DIY project, consider these common mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Underestimating Your Budget
During your excitement for your project you start scrambling to make a simple list of supplies. You write down the list given to you on the DIY page and you make your way to the home improvement store. When you get there, however, you begin to see the price of your project sky rocket. This is a common mistake among first time DIYers–underestimating the cost of your project. How to avoid this: When creating your list of supplies, overestimate the price of every bit of your cartload. Then, add another 10 percent onto that total. Why? First of all, you need to consider that there is a possibility that you may make a mistake, in which case you may need more supplies. Second, you’d be surprised how quickly your excitement for the project can have you adding more supplies to your cart than needed. If you write out your budget and how much the project will cost, it will help to keep you from adding more to the list. Of course, this might mean scaling back your expectations, but at least it gives you an idea of what you are about to start.
2. I Can Do That Myself!
Many first-time DIYers see home improvement ideas on the internet or in magazines and think “I can do that myself.” It’s OK to get excited about new projects and ideas, but when you find yourself thinking like this, start small. Try repainting a room. You’d be surprised as to the difference a little paint can make. Installing shelving is another great project. You’ll learn how to use the right tools, and create a level surface. Once you become more adept, try tackling more challenging projects. But remain realistic about your skill set. Realize it takes years for professionals to learn their craft.
3. Using the Wrong Tools for the Job
Smaller jobs are possible to perform with simple tools such as a hammer or screwdriver. But when the complexity of the job increases, so will the need to use specialized tools. Before you start any projects, research the tools needed for the job. Some tools are available to rent. Some tools you just shouldn’t use yourself. It’s OK to ask for help. At home improvement stores like Home Depot, you may even be able to get someone to help you cut crown molding and the like.
4. Permit? I Don’t Need No Stinking Permit.
Ok. So you want to transform a simple bathroom into a master bath with double sinks and a jacuzzi tub. You may not think such a minor renovation needs a permit. The project itself will already be sucking the money out of your wallet, who wants to visit the permit office for a potential expensive trip? Though it may be needed. Cities require homeowners to obtain permits to ensure the project is done correctly. If you aren’t sure if your project requires a permit, call and ask. If you are altering the structure of your home, chances are it will be required.
5. Brushes, Primer, and Paint, OH MY!
Painting seems simple. But for first-time DIYers it can be trickier than you’d expect. Paint does not adhere to all surfaces, and you need to make sure you are buying the right kind. Buy quality when it comes to paint tools–you don’t want the bristles of the brush you are using to come off in the paint, or the paint to crack or become tacky. When in doubt, but semigloss paint. It is usually a more sensible option.
If you’re excited about starting a DIY project, don’t let this article put a damper on your enthusiasm. As you become more adept, you’ll begin to realize there isn’t much you cannot accomplish with the right tools, experience and a reliable contractor’s phone number.
Don’t forget to Facebook!