Knowhow-Now Article

Common Mistakes In DIY Home Improvement

Although home improvement is sometimes a process of trial and error, you want to avoid as many mistakes as you can. The following information can assist you in your home improvement endeavors, by showing you what to avoid.

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1. Not having a plan. Sure, you know in your mind what you want your home to look like when you're finished, but if you don't lay out a good plan, that picture will not be what you end up achieving. Consult with books and do research online, then put pen to paper and write your plans down, step by step.

Tip: New furniture is expensive. Look around at garage sales and thrift stores for some interesting, new-to-you furniture.

2. Failure to obtain permits. Most people claim ignorance when it comes to understanding local building regulations, but that shouldn't be the case. Call your town hall or building inspector and run your plans by them. They should be able to quickly tell you what permits may be involved and how to keep yourself legal.

Tip: Do not allow contractors to perform work on your home before signing a contract. You may even be better off if the contract is looked over by an attorney before the first hammer is raised.

3. Underestimating costs. Although you don't want to spend more money than you have to, it's important to leave yourself a little breathing room when it comes to home improvement projects. Know that you may go over by a few dollars, and be prepared for that.

Tip: Don't make foolish improvements. Improvements that make no sense like a sun room with no insulation in a cold climate, or a deck with no shade in a hot climate might deter a possible home buyer.

4. Disregarding resale value. Fixing your house up to your own unique style may look good now, but if you ever want to sell, you may find yourself without any takers. Consider the general appeal of your home improvement project and how likely it is to be accepted by the real estate market.

Tip: While you want your home to run well, you should pay attention to visual details, too. If you are trying to sell your home you do not want people to be put off by unattractive features.

5. Not shopping around for the best price. Convenience is important in home improvement, but running out to the closest store and paying way too much for supplies should never happen. Plan well and find a home goods store that offers very reasonable prices for your project.

Tip: Make nail holes along the rim of the paint can! This lip on the paint can will fill with paint, when replacing the lid it can cause the paint to spill over. WIth a nail, drive small holes around the outside of the can to help solve the problem.

6. Using cheap materials. Of course, you don't want to underpay either and wind up with a project that falls apart in the first year. Knowledge is key when it comes to finding the balance between quality and affordability.

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7. Not using the proper tools for the job. Most people who undertake a home improvement project improvise in one way or another, and while this can be a good thing, it often results in sub-par results. If something simply can't or shouldn't be done with the tools you've got, get the right ones. The cost and effort will be well worth it.

Tip: You need PVC cement and PVC primer to attach a pair of PVC pipes. Be sure to use the exact PVC products as generic glues won't work as well.

8. Being unprepared. It helps to expect the unexpected in home improvement and to be able to think on your feet. Heed this as a warning and be adaptable to the situations unforeseen events will create.

Tip: You could greatly improve your home's safety by educating your family members when it comes to safety escape routes. People generally panic when things go awry.

9. Neglecting to hire a professional when necessary. Many people do this and eventually pay dearly for it. It's a tough call to make, but if a project is out of your league or out of control, call in the pros and let them handle it.

Tip: Many times contractors lower construction costs by using solid wood cabinets with no hardware. You can get knobs or handles for a low cost online or at a store, such as Home Depot or Lowe's.

10. Failure to have the home inspected. This is vital for a number of reasons, and you should plan for it from the start of your home improvement project. Knowing that an official evaluation of your work is coming will keep standards high and ensure that safety is a priority.

These are mistakes you want to avoid making, to ensure that your home improvement projects are a total success. Use these tips to get the job done right the first time, and enjoy the process.

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