Remodeling and home renovation projects can be expensive and stressful endeavors. But you can save yourself both time and money by avoiding a few mistakes that homeowners make when undertaking home restoration projects on their own.
Make sure to avoid these pitfalls, and you’ll end up with an even better result without the extra stress and wasted money.
Here are six common mistakes you should avoid when doing home restoration on your own:
- Failing to Properly Clean
Often, homeowners think they’re improving their homes when they start to repaint or replace the flooring. But if you’re not careful, you can make your home look worse than it did before. The key is to properly clean and prep surfaces before applying paint. Say you’re working on the drywall work. You must ensure you’ve removed all dust and debris. That includes any oil-based paint remnants from old projects that might remain in hidden corners and crevices.
It might also be a good idea to invest in a carbon monoxide detector (likewise for gas and smoke alarms). These detectors can help prevent fires caused by careless DIY-ers who smoke near beds while working on floors with home tools.
- Not Letting Your Local Council Know
Planning to ask permission is a legal requirement in some countries, like Spain, Portugal, England, and some parts of the United States. It’s wise to check with your local council about what kind of renovations require permission, about when you can request the renovation, and if there are any exceptions.
For example, in the United States, a particular type of home improvement will qualify for permit waivers—usually, ones that don’t substantially change your house’s structure or appearance. This means it can be worth checking with authorities before starting more significant projects, like adding an extension or converting an attic into a living space.
- Working on Your Own When You Don’t Know What You’re Doing
At worst, you could end up damaging your home; at best, you’ll waste time and money. Either way, it’s not an ideal situation. If you want to avoid headaches down the road (and dollars spent), hire a professional for all of your home improvement needs. Not only will he save you time and money, but a professional’s experience can save your house from unnecessary damage.
A good example is replacing or installing heating systems in your home. Suppose you’re not qualified to do so and do it yourself. In that case, you might not be able to install everything correctly and can cause damage to other areas of your house. You’ll be in better hands with a reliable heating company to help you with the task.
- Using Substandard Paint
Cheap paint often looks great for about a week after application, but it begins to peel, crack, or fade quickly after that. Instead of risking your time and money on something that won’t last, invest in quality paint that will stay pristine for years. This may cost more upfront but will save you money in future repairs and replacements.
Plus, higher-quality paints are eco-friendly and better for your health. Not only is it worth paying extra for professionals to cut down on labor costs, but it’s also safer. Cheap paint is likely made with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause headaches, dizziness, or respiratory issues over time.
- Underestimating Garden Landscaping Costs
It’s easy to think that garden landscaping is cheaper than house remodeling. But just because plants are relatively low-cost doesn’t mean that they don’t require upkeep. Whenever you change your yard—whether it’s by planting new flowers or laying new turf—you have to factor in ongoing costs for watering, fertilizing, and clipping hedges.
These numbers will vary depending on your geographic location, so call a local gardening service to learn more about what homeowners typically pay before starting your DIY project.
- Letting Water Damage Go Untreated
A leaky roof, window, or fixture can quickly become a costly problem if left untreated. So make sure you’re doing regular maintenance on your home to prevent future leaks. If one occurs, get it repaired as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will end up paying more than you bargained for. In some cases, water damage can be severe enough to completely replace damaged materials. This is not always cheap and may require hiring an expert.
Repairing these types of problems as they occur is preferable because unaddressed damage can lead to mold growth and other health hazards. If repairs seem too expensive, it might also be worth considering replacing what was broken instead.
Whether you’re making home improvements to increase your home’s resale value or just because it’s something you enjoy, avoiding these mistakes can help improve your chances of success. If there are any home-improvement projects you want to take on, make sure to consider these mistakes and learn from them. That way, you’ll be much more likely to achieve your goals.