You have a nice home. You want to make it even nicer. Right?
So you decide to start down the road of DIY home improvement so you can add that deck, remodel that kitchen, or add that closet you always wanted while saving a “boatload” of money on professional labor.
Hey we get it … DIY sounds great (in theory).
But trust us, it can become a real disaster very quickly if you aren’t careful. So read these 6 common mistakes many DIYers make and then avoid them at all costs.
Mistake #1: Not getting a permit
Yes, permits are a pain in the neck and often seem just like a way for the local government to pick your pocket. But permits are important.
First, if you don’t get a permit you are breaking the law. Consequently, if you build something like a deck without a permit the construction office could fine you, make you tear it down, or rebuild it following the specs they require.
Second, permits are mainly about safety. By enforcing local construction standards, permits give you the best chance to avoid fire, structural failure or injury. If you decide to move, the permit process also protects future owners.
Mistake #2: Cheaping out on materials
How much a difference does it really make if you use composite decking boards that are .82 inches thick as opposed to boards that are .94 inches thick? After all, you can save 20% on your costs and we really are only talking about a .12” difference.
Well the answer is it may make little or no difference. It could also mean a world of difference when those thinner boards bow like crazy because your joists are 16” apart instead of 12”.
There is nothing wrong with trying to save some money on materials if it makes no real difference in the finished product and longevity. But if you don’t consider all the possibilities and fully understand what your application requires, bargain hunting can cause real problems (especially in the long-term).
Mistake #3: Getting the wrong materials
This one is similar to the previous mistake in that it happens as a result of not fully understanding what your application requires.
Caulk, drywall, anchors, fasteners, and even paint all are made for certain applications and using the wrong materials for the wrong project can become a DIYer’s worst nightmare.
Do your research. Figure out exactly what you need and get the right stuff the first time.
Mistake #4: Safety
This mistake doesn’t necessarily affect the quality of your work. But failure to observe proper safety precautions could land you in the hospital, or even the morgue.
Please make sure you are always being safe when you are doing work around the house.
Turn off breakers.
Wear safety goggles.
Don’t remove saw guards because they get in the way.
Don’t stand on the top of the ladder just because you can.
Don’t try to do 2 person jobs with 1 person and some real ingenuity.
Be safe. Your welfare is way more important than your home’s beauty.
Mistake #5: Poor budgeting
This is one may hurt the worst because you went the DIY route to save money in the first place. But there is a reason contractor’s take time to estimate carefully … because they don’t want to get sunk on overages.
Many homeowners just have no clue when it comes to some of the hidden expenses that accompany many home improvements. They estimate light then run into a world of financial hurt only to leave their projects half done until they can replenish their bank accounts.
Do the research.
And plan for some extra expense by having the money available if it happens.
Listen, there is nothing wrong with a little DIY when it’s appropriate. But don’t get buried by these types of costly mistakes in your efforts to stay frugal.
Also, before you decide to go the DIY route get some professional estimates.
Yes, the cost will be higher but often it’s not the type of marked difference you imagine in your head. Also, professionals will be able to alert you to all the considerations you may have missed and most importantly, they will do it right and save you a ton of time and sweat.
Call the experts at New Life if you are considering a home improvement. New Life only uses the best materials and has all the knowledge and experience necessary to deliver a finished product that exceeds your expectations while staying within your budgetary concerns.