By Kevin Stevens
You are a happy homeowner, but you could be happier. Why? That avocado kitchen remodel that the previous owner completed 30 years ago makes your morning coffee taste bad. You ask yourself, is this something I can do? Or do I need to bring in some professional help?
The top 10 mistakes that amateur do-it-yourselfers make, and how to avoid them:
1. Underestimating Project Complexity
Can I do this? This by far, is the first question you should ask yourself. The answer you give will dictate how well you are prepared for your project. The project needs to be looked at with a “global view” one that incorporates all of your skills, or the lack of, and the multitude of possibilities that the project may entail.
The scope of the project and your skill sets need to be aligned. Obviously, a bump-out kitchen remodel with all of its tasks is far more complex than a bathroom paint job, or installing a ceiling fan.
2. Unrealistic Budget
Unless you are very wealthy, you’ll probably have a budget in mind. To ensure that potential unknowns are covered before work begins, a 15-20 percent budget surplus will ensure that you can complete the project without having to scramble near the end if things get more complicated than you first planned.
3. We didn’t plan for that.
If you are working in an older home, there may be some physical damage that may need to be fixed as part of the project. One thing that I often see in bath remodels is water damage. The damaged area may not be huge, but still needs to be fixed. Less reputable builders may just cover it up, but I work with the homeowner for a repair that will stand the test of time, and keep their budget in line. The solution here is to keep an open mind, have the padding in your budget, and schedule and be prepared for some “what if” problems.