5 Common DIY Remodeling Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them

Tammy Emineth

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DIY renovations are a great way to get the home you want without blowing the budget, but we have all heard the horror stories of a remodeling project that went south. To make sure you are prepared to renovate your home without regretting it, check out this list of 5 common DIY remodeling mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Inaccurate estimates of time, space, or money

Dreaming up a renovation and planning for it are two different things. Avoid guesstimates of how much space you have, how much money it will cost, or how long it will take. In almost every case, your guess will be a little off.

How to avoid this mistake: Take the time to accurately measure the space you are renovating, making sure you have the actual numbers to estimate the cost of materials. Remember that the amount of time you see a project taking on a home renovation TV show, or even the amount of time a contractor will take to complete the project, is likely far less than it will take you.

2. Hiring unlicensed contractors

Greg Dallaire of Appleton WI says, "If you plan to hire a contractor for part of your DIY project, don't go for the guy with an online listing that says he can do anything. In most cases, the contractor with the cheap rates is that way for a reason, and his or her work will show you just that."

How to avoid this mistake: Commit to only hiring licensed contractors with a good reputation. This will almost certainly save you stress and money in the long term.

3. Using cheap alternatives

We get it; it's tempting to find the least expensive option when you are remodeling your home. After all, aren't you DIYing for the purpose of saving money? The problem with this is that the cheaper alternative will end up costing you more in the long run.

How to avoid this mistake: Research various options for your project, taking time to talk with professionals at a local hardware store rather than just looking online. After deciding what materials are best, look for deals by purchasing from overstock suppliers or recycled materials rather than looking for a lower-cost alternative. Remember that it is better to wait a little longer and use the right materials than to use the wrong materials now and pay more later because of the damage it causes.

4. Ignoring building codes and neglecting permits

You may not see the value of completing your project according to local building codes or making sure the work is permitted before beginning. However, ignoring building codes or neglecting to get a project permit can really come back to haunt you when it is time to sell. Even if you are happy with the result of the work, you may have trouble selling your home in that condition after an inspector takes a look. You could end up losing your ideal buyers or having to shell out unexpected money to hire a licensed contractor to fix your work and bring it up to code.

How to avoid this mistake: Whether you agree with the codes or not, go ahead and follow them during your project and invest the time and money required to get a building permit.

5. Failure to plan

If you are a laid-back person, you may feel comfortable getting going on a project without a thorough plan. This might work out okay for small projects like repainting or updating hardware, but more significant projects require a detailed plan. Failure to plan can result in spending far more time and money than you planned, often to undo mistakes that could have been avoided in the first place if you had a plan in place.

How to avoid this mistake: Make a detailed plan for the project that includes specific products you will use, tools you will need, and the method you will utilize to get the job done.

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I am a former real estate agent turned content marketer. I love to write about real estate, blog about home improvement and optimize real estate and other business websites for our customers. SEO Tips, real estate advice and more.

Frenchtown, MT

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