Do-it-yourself home repair can save you a bundle if you’re willing to put in the work. But whether you’re fixing a leaky faucet or putting in a new floor, it’s important to take your time and not cut corners. Many homeowners make costly mistakes like rushing through home repairs or using inferior materials, which can result in poor results. If you’re thinking of taking on a home repair project, make sure to avoid these common mistakes.
Mistake #1: Failing to Get the Proper Permits
I know I’m not the only one who’s made the mistake of starting a DIY project without getting the proper permits. While the time and cost associated with local permits can be irritating, permit policies are in place for a good reason. Permits help ensure that the job you’re completing gets done right to reduce the risk of damage and injury. However, not all DIY jobs require a permit. If you’re not sure, contact your local building department.
Mistake #2: Not Turning Off the Power Before Doing Electrical Work
Turning the wall switch off isn’t enough when working with electrical components in your home. It’s essential to turn off the main breaker to cut power to the entire circuit. While it may be a temporary inconvenience, turning off the power before doing any electrical work is important to avoid a dangerous electric shock.
Mistake #3: Making Inaccurate Measurements
Most of us have heard the expression “measure twice, cut once,” but few of us follow through. Double-checking your measurements for accuracy before cutting is an important rule to avoid wasted time and materials. If you’re going to risk not measuring twice, remember that you can always cut more off if you need to, but you can’t make something that’s too short longer.
Mistake #4: Underestimating the Time Needed to Complete the Project
Most DIY repair jobs seem much simpler than they really are. Also, many homeowners don’t take time into account for setbacks that may arise. It’s important not to rush into a project and to plan ahead for hurdles you may face along the way. Setting strict deadlines for yourself will just stress you out and make you take shortcuts. Give yourself extra time and keep your expectations realistic.
Mistake #5: Creating an Unsafe Job Site
Certain home repair jobs are dangerous no matter what your level of expertise is or how many times you’ve successfully completed the job before. It’s important to create a safe work area to make sure that nobody gets hurt. When using power tools or doing major repairs or renovations, wear protective gear like goggles, gloves, and hard hats. Also, keep the area clear of possible hazards. And if you’re staining or painting, make sure you have good ventilation by opening doors and windows.
Mistake #6: Working on Repairs Outside of Your Skill Set
Know when you’re in over your head. Not every DIYer has the skills for every home repair task. Certain projects, such as complex electrical and plumbing work, require the expertise of a trained professional. Without the proper skill set, you risk making a mistake that could end up costing you more time and money in the long run. Be realistic about your abilities before beginning any home improvement project to make sure that you’re up to the challenge.