Whether you have watched a home improvement on television or admired a friend’s handiwork, chances are you have considered one or two Do It Yourself (DIY) projects recently. If so, you are certainly not alone, as there are three key reasons why the current trend of DIY projects is so popular: money, enjoyment, and a sense of accomplishment.
Before starting a DIY project, however, you should accept the fact that your project will probably take three times as long as you intend it to and cost twice as much. This is not an underestimation of your skills; unfortunately, this is almost always a fact.
The reason for such a cautionary outlook is that DIYers often make mistakes, and in some cases quite a few costly ones on their projects, thus negating, to some degree, the amount of money saved, the fun, and your pride. To help avoid those unpleasant results, you should be aware of common mistakes made by DIYers. Read on...
- Building codes:
- Not checking need for permits and inspections required for your project in your jurisdiction. Start off by inquiring with your local building authority and discussing your project in detail. Since codes change frequently in some areas, rechecking for compliance is a good idea.
- Common violations include not testing for lead/asbestos, improper venting of fans, improper sized circuits (and many other electrical projects), wrong fence heights
- Failure to thoroughly research your project and gather materials in advance. Know what skills and materials you will need before you go to the big box store.
- Inadequate supply of necessary tools. If you want to save money, borrow or rent any you know you will rarely use.
- Skimping on materials. Cheaper materials may be easier on your bank balance, but they are not the best option in the long run.
- Inaccuracy is the biggest pitfall a DIY can encounter, and it’s very easily avoided. Measure twice; cut once is a motto you should live by when taking on any project!
- Not reading/following all instructions for power tool use-- a foolhardy decision which often leads to unwanted trips to the ER.
- Failure to wear appropriate clothing and protective accessories.
- Using power tools without first inspecting their condition.
- Disregarding the need for a first aid kit always at the ready
With these handy and important tips in mind, you can begin planning for your successful DIY project with peace of mind. Enjoy!