Home DIY projects may seem like a pleasant alternative for your pocket, with the end result giving you a rewarding feeling as you admire your own handy work. However, regardless of how prepared you think you are — sourcing for the right YouTube video to paint your walls and buying the necessary equipment to build a closet of your own — there are times when you’ll slip up and make common DIY mistakes. If you’re new to the whole DIY scene but want to cut down on the insane costs of undergoing a professional renovation, read on to find out what these rookie mistakes are and how you can avoid them!
1. Forgetting to apply for a permit
A building permit is an official document that grants you permission to alter a part of your house and it is issued by your local building department. Though different states and cities have different protocols, most places would require a permit if you wish to renovate your house. If you are unsure of the process of applying for a permit, contact your local building authority instead of keeping mum about your DIY project. If you get caught midway, chances are, you will have to halt all renovations immediately and even pay a fine. Some cities even conduct random checks around the neighborhood so make sure that you do not find yourself in a similar situation!
Though the process of applying for permits brings about a great deal of pain, permits are there to ensure that these projects are carried out properly and safely. Most applications require submitting a rough plan, a detailed outline and approval by a certified architect or engineer. It will then be submitted to the local building department for review, and either a rejection or approval will be given. So, before you excitedly embark on your major DIY project, make sure that your permit is applied and approved beforehand.
More often than not, the cost that you expect to incur for your DIY project is way more than what you had in mind. As you start to get down and dirty into your project, there is bound to be curveballs thrown at you — you realize that there are leaks that require extra plumbing, cracks in the walls that you need to cover up, mold or termite issues that require immediate attention — all these small obstacles will amount to higher costs altogether. Even experienced DIY-ers and architects find themselves in these situations all the time and you should always expect the unexpected.
When your budget overruns to costs that surpass your expectations, you may resort to putting it on hold and regretfully engage a professional engineer instead. Even though you cannot avoid this problem altogether, you can curb it by drawing out a detailed plan to better estimate your budget. Set aside extra money for such situations to happen; like unexpected repair fees or additional tools and equipment that you have to purchase. Planning out your costs will help you to set a rough ballpark for your expected costs, and leave some cushion for additional costs that you may incur in the process.
3. Setting aside too little time
Besides under-budgeting, you may be allocating too little time for your project too, and stipulating too tight a deadline for yourself. More often than not, such projects will end up taking a lot more time than you would expect. For most DIY renovators, they have their full-time jobs to attend to and will not be able to put in full days of work for their projects. The bulk of their time would belong to weekends and late evenings, and as such, a week or two would definitely not be enough for larger-scale works.
When the projects drag on for too long over the allocated timeframe, they may be put on hold and pose much inconvenience to the family for weeks or even months. Major plumbing or electrical works may leave you having no electricity or water supply, and turning to take-out food and even some help from the neighbors. In order to avoid such inconveniences, give yourself ample time for your projects and set realistic goals. Avoid overestimating yourself and end up giving yourself too much pressure and stress in trying to get the job done. One tip is to get as many helping hands as possible; after all, teamwork makes the dream work!
4. Going beyond your capabilities
Being adventurous and confident are great personality traits, but when it comes to undertaking a job that you are clearly not able to; maybe leaving it to the professionals is a better option. Though you may think that watching enough tutorial videos may equip you with the right skills and knowledge, doing it yourself and successfully completing the task is another thing altogether. If you find yourself stuck midway, your instinct may prompt you to press on and figure it out along the way. However, one piece of advice for you is to fight your instincts and get help from a professional. This way, you are saving yourself a lot of time, effort and even your own safety!
The best way to curb this is, to be honest with yourself about your capabilities. Are you sure that you are skilled enough to do the plumbing job yourself? Do you know the mechanics behind roofing repairs? If you are in the slightest doubt, chances are that you are not ready to undertake such a major project all by yourself. For more complicated repairs like plumbing work, electrical work, HVAC systems, window replacements, and roofing repairs, it is recommended that you engage a professional for help to avoid incurring unnecessary costs and effort.
5. Lacking the appropriate tools
Another tell-tale sign of you not being prepared enough for your DIY project is when you lack the proper tools for the work. As a DIY-er, spending extra money on the appropriate tools that you will use only once may tempt you to skip on it and make use of the tools that you already have. As you start to convince yourself into thinking that your inexpensive claw hammer can replace a rubber mallet, you may give up midway and get frustrated when you realize that it is not going to do the trick. This leaves you settling for a subpar job that may pose danger to your family.
When it comes to such renovation projects, having the right set of tools is crucial in ensuring that you get the job done properly. If you are hesitant about investing in the appropriate tools, you should consider leaving the job to the pros. Do also be mindful to purchase safety equipment as well, like goggles, gloves, a helmet, and a respirator, to avoid any mishaps from occurring.
DIY works may be a great way to save some cash, but that is if you manage to complete the tasks properly and avoid incurring unnecessary costs and spending extra time. While these projects may seem relatively easy on tutorial videos, getting it done by yourself as an experienced DIY-er is a whole other thing altogether. When in doubt, always engage a professional, like victoria plumbing for help and have them do it for you. This will greatly help you to save time and money, in the event that you get into several problems during the DIY process.