Home renovation

The DIY Not To Do For Your Most Successful Home Improvement Projects Yet

A perfectly painted wall from Clare.


Whether you’re watching HGTV or checking out Pinterest, DIY looks so easy. After all, who needs professionals when you can make your own contribution to creating something beautiful? But DIY can go terribly wrong when you attempt a project beyond the scope of your own abilities. You not only risk something not being done correctly, but also waste time, money or injury to yourself. If your projects start with DI-Why-Not and turn into DI-Why-Did-I-Do-This, that doesn’t mean you should never attempt things yourself. However, you probably need to plan differently and follow these professional guidelines.

DIY does not mean doing everything yourself

They say “If you want the job done right, do it yourself.” But maybe not. You don’t have to tackle every aspect of a renovation or even a redecoration project alone. Andrew Renck owns a business in Florida that corrects other people’s mistakes and has seen thousands of examples of DIY or lack of permits and inspections going wrong in residential and commercial spaces.

When planning a project, he suggests being realistic about what you can and cannot do on your own. Drywall replacement is an example of something many people can do on their own (or with a friend for pizza and a beer). However, it’s best to steer clear of anything structural, as an engineer might need to be involved.

Renck also says to make sure the DIY actually pays off. For example, if you need to buy a $200 drill to make four holes, that’s $50 per hole. Also, don’t forget your own hourly rate to get the job done.

But the biggest mistake he sees making is hiring unqualified or unlicensed contractors. If a contractor cannot show that he is licensed and insured or if he does not want to obtain a license in his own name (so he does not drive under someone else’s licence), then he does not is probably not qualified. You can check a contractor’s licensing status with the state or county.

Bug is a great resource for finding professionals to help with any type of home improvement project. All you have to do is fill out a form and you’ll receive offers for the job within minutes. There are many services available, from plumbing and electrical work to installing sound systems and countertops.

Don’t assume everything will go as planned

DIY expert and author Jordan Reid of ramshackle glamor says it’s best to expect the unexpected. “You are going to exceed your budget and it will take longer than expected. Just know it and be prepared.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to be a leader. She explained, “Don’t manage people on the job, rather establish a manageable scope of work with the contractor and review daily to ensure you are on track with both budget and schedule. “

Another tip from Reid is to finish projects before starting new ones. His personal tendency to multitask hasn’t always worked to his advantage. “I started bathroom #2 before bathroom #1 was nearly finished.” Don’t leave yourself potentially without a toilet or shower.

Do not paint without preparation

Interior designer Nicole Gibbons recently launched Clare, which is a direct-to-consumer paint line. It includes 55 curated colors plus innovative peel and stick color swatches. She thinks the key to DIY painting projects is preparation. She explained, “This includes things like filling holes, sanding rough spots, wiping your walls clean and dry, and masking all your doors, moldings, windows, and even things like electrical outlets using duct tape. for painter. Depending on your space, these steps can be tedious and time-consuming, but once they’re done, the rest of your paint job will be a breeze.”

Gibbons added that priming is a very important part of preparation. “If you are making a drastic color change, like going from dark to light, a primer is a must. Primer helps seal your surface and hides what’s underneath, creating an even base for even color application. Without a primer, you’ll need a lot more coats to hide a darker color, which will take a lot more work and physical stress. The primer also helps conceal surface imperfections on your wall so you have a more flawless finish.

Gibbons also recommends removing your painter’s tape before the paint dries completely. “It’s best to remove your tape when your painting is just dry to the touch, but not completely dry, usually one to two hours after painting. If you wait until the paint is completely dry, you risk taking some of your freshly painted paint with it.

While painting the walls is easy, other surfaces can be tedious or difficult. Emily Farris of The Boozy Bungalow painted her kitchen cabinets three times. She learned the hard way that it was not a good idea. “It’s definitely not something I would recommend tackling on your own. It’s a hugely time-consuming job and I can almost guarantee that halfway through you’ll end up crying on your kitchen floor cradling a bottle of whiskey at 2 a.m. and wondering why you’ve thought it was a good idea in the first place. And that’s before you even try to hang up those pesky doors.

Don’t be afraid to try something new, but don’t be dangerous

In many cases, lighting projects really can be done on your own. According to Matt Elsey, Home Depot Interior Lighting Associate Dealer, “Electricity is intimidating, but don’t overthink it. Most lighting projects are a simple swap to update fixture decor, which really only requires the connection of three wires.

At the same time, do not risk being electrocuted or accidentally causing an electrical fire. If you’re unsure or something feels uncomfortable, Elsey suggests calling a professional. “Some lighting projects are best left to professionals, such as adding lights to a new location where there isn’t already an electrical junction box. If you must run wires inside a wall, especially if a new line is required from the service panel, you should always consult a professional.

Don’t be afraid to be creative

K’era Morgan is a multimedia artist and founder of the textile line k-apostrophe. She designs everything from pillows to throws, inspired by her own art. Morgan sees DIY as a powerful way to tap into her creativity. “If you have the creative urge, follow your intuition and dive in. The only thing I can recommend is to not be afraid to experiment. Experimentation is your creativity at work and yes, you may not like the result the first time or the second time, but it will force you to keep digging deeper and finding more creative solutions until that you come across something you love that works. ”

Warren Struhl, CEO and Founder of MyPhoto and Wallkeepers, shares a similar sentiment when it comes to finding inspiration to create those photo walls that are so popular right now. “Start by looking at the space you want to fill, looking at your most meaningful photos. Then find the place in your home where they can tell your story.”