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10 DIY Renovation Pitfalls to Avoid

8. Improper Sequence of Tasks

I have been called in to finish some projects that some owners started, but they ran out of steam (see 7 above). Once on site, I found that they started some tasks before others were finished. An example: Don’t schedule the carpet install before the drywall is done…it may seem obvious, but it happens. This same type of sequence holds true for just about every type of project. Research here will pay off in the end. For instance, if you want an overview of how to plan a DIY banister, check out this ebook

9. I want it now.

This is one urge that is hard for beginners to control. Your plan to paint the bath …today…after seeing a show on TV needs planning time. Before you jump in, take a step back and look at the whole room. Plan your actions, ask yourself, do I want to replace any lighting, fixtures, cabinets? Once you have the scope set, do the proper prep work, patch or repair the drywall, if needed, clean the walls, remove fixtures etc. Then get out your painter’s hat.

10. Oops, I changed my mind.

Change is inevitable and it comes with the passage of time. One experience may trigger another, and then another. Proper planning and research will keep the project in your mind for a while before any work is done. This repeated “vision” will imprint into you, and allow you to plan effectively. What you don’t want is to have a “new vision” happen half way through your project, or a few months after the project has been completed.

If you’re a brand new homeowner, before you jump into a big project spend some time living in your home. Prior to moving in, it’s safe to do some simple things like painting, but don’t start moving rooms around. Live in the space, feel the day-to-day breath of the house, the ebb and flow of the seasons. You might like the way the winter sun reaches back into the dining nook. Then after you and your home have bonded, think of how to make it more your style. It is your home, and with proper planning and some sound advice, you will fall in love with it over and over again.

I hope you have enjoyed reading the top 10 mistakes that amateur do-it-yourselfers make, and how to avoid them. The fact that you found this article shows that you have put some thought into your project and have already mastered item 9.

Related:
Home Improvement: DIY or Move?
10 Recession-Proof Green Decorating Ideas
Home Remodeling: 10 Reasons to Do It Now

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Networx.com empowers people to make educated, economical and Earth-friendly renovation and home repair choices. We are a community of homeowners, renters and contractors who are committed to sharing home improvement expertise and experience.

50 comments

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9:32AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Great article it's actually helpful,thanks for sharing

5:58PM PST on Mar 4, 2013

Good advice, thanks.

10:55PM PDT on Aug 24, 2011

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3:57PM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

This definitely makes me think. And I agree about the making-things-match thing - ugly linoleum on the floor and a new concrete counter-top does not a pretty kitchen make. I'll definitely need more research on the order of things to do when remodeling a kitchen...

Thank you for the information.

5:39AM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

Thanks for the article.

1:16PM PDT on Jul 13, 2011

It is best to get several estimates so you know what you have to budget for. Sometimes you find you can do some of the pre-work to save time and money. Leave the big stuff to the pros.

12:41PM PST on Jan 9, 2011

Useful tips, thank you!!

1:19PM PST on Dec 16, 2010

Useful tips, and timely for me! All summer I am immersed in my outside world, spending every waking moment dealing with gardening, weeding etc, so the inside gets forgotten. Dishes piling up is the least of it! So this winter I determined to re-do the living area to make it both practical and user friendly, and also a bit nicer. I determined to keep it simple - a cheap new surround in one bathroom, with a fresh coat of paint. New floor tiles in the kitchen to brighten it and make the floor easier to clean than the 40's era linoleum currently there. Then installing the cabinets hubby built years ago but became too ill to install. Having all winter to work on it means I am able to take time to work out which things have to be moved where, what has to be painted before something is installed. Sitting back and looking at the big picture - the before and after, and the necessary steps needed to get there - has kept me from jumping into too much trouble so far. these tips reminded me of other concerns I need to look out for - thanks!

1:18PM PST on Dec 16, 2010

Useful tips, and timely for me! All summer I am immersed in my outside world, spending every waking moment dealing with gardening, weeding etc, so the inside gets forgotten. Dishes piling up is the least of it! So this winter I determined to re-do the living area to make it both practical and user friendly, and also a bit nicer. I determined to keep it simple - a cheap new surround in one bathroom, with a fresh coat of paint. New floor tiles in the kitchen to brighten it and make the floor easier to clean than the 40's era linoleum currently there. Then installing the cabinets hubby built years ago but became too ill to install. Having all winter to work on it means I am able to take time to work out which things have to be moved where, what has to be painted before something is installed. Sitting back and looking at the big picture - the before and after, and the necessary steps needed to get there - has kept me from jumping into too much trouble so far. these tips reminded me of other concerns I need to look out for - thanks!

1:15PM PDT on Oct 5, 2010

Very well said.

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