Common DIY Remodeling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Jason Lambert, NARI: Pay attention to building codes and best practices even if you’re not pulling a permit or having the project inspected. When it comes time to sell your house, you don’t want a home inspector to raise questions about your work that could derail your sale, or worse, require after-the-fact permits/demolition. It should go without saying that if you need a permit for the work, pull one, even if you’re doing the work yourself. 

Bluestem Remodeling: Not venting plumbing correctly. Not venting new plumbing fixtures properly creates risk of sewer gas coming into the house. We see unvented stuff all the time because people don’t know. This is very dangerous, and a very common DIY mistake among homeowners.

HDR Remodeling: Underestimating the time it takes to complete a project, which often results in headaches, rushed work that produces less than optimal outcomes, dealing with unforeseen issues, and costly last-minute appeals to a professional to make it right. When estimating a DIY project, get a time reference from an experienced professional and allow yourself twice the allotted time. For example, if it takes an expert two days to tile a kitchen backsplash, allocate four days to complete the project yourself; your stress level and your budget will feel the difference. 

Jim Kabel, Next Stage Design: Avoid biting off more than you can chew. There’s a reason why maintenance experts like design/build firms, plumbers, HVAC specialists, and electricians are in such high demand — what they do requires an incredibly specialized skillset that likely taken years of education and training to attain. Attempting these as a homeowner (without the proper training) may seem like a way to save money in the short run, but in the big picture, it could cost you even more money and most importantly, your personal safety. If you have any doubts about whether you can handle something, it’s best to give your local home remodeling company or maintenance specialist a call.

Patch of Land: Understand the permits involved. Often local city ordinances require a building permit before work can be started. The best way to know whether you need a building permit is to contact your local building department to determine whether or not you need a permit. The process of obtaining a building permit can be annoying and expensive, but remember that building codes are enforced to safeguard life, health, and public welfare. Rehabbing with a building permit helps protect your investment, future families, and your community. Not to mention it’s the law! 

Top Contractors: Hiring unlicensed contractors (friends) who can “save you a lot of money.” Hiring unlicensed contractors to save money, usually ends up costing the homeowners more overall. This commonly happens because the projects are either not fully completed, or homeowners are unhappy with the final results. Resulting in the homeowners having to hire a licensed contractor to come and fix or replace the work previously completed. 

Palm Beach Premier Remodeling: Having the mindset of “anyone can do it” but there is a way a professional tradesman can do it so that it will last a lifetime.  And at the end of the day, what makes a project complete is ALL in the details!

Renewal Construction: Where there is a bathroom there is water and if that water makes its way below tile flooring and showers, it can cause a lot of damage (and cost a lot of extra money)! Consider hiring a professional tile installer to be sure that the subsurface, tile, and grout are correctly installed in order to protect your bathroom from water damage down the road. If hiring a professional is out of the question, take the time to research subsurfaces and grout (we recommend epoxy-based grout for shower pans and silicone-based grout for the walls) to be sure that you are able to install a quality tile surface that will last. 

LetsBuild: Going cheap on the materials. Trying to keep your budget under control during a DIY project is understandable. However, you don’t want to be stingy when it comes to the materials you are planning to use. Make sure that you prioritize quality otherwise you will end up paying twice as much for maintenance in the long run. 

Drafting Cafe Architects: To avoid hefty change orders during construction, homeowners should select their finish materials before requesting bids from contractors. Cabinet, flooring, and tile costs can vary greatly and many architects don’t specify those materials in their drawings. If a contractor is left to make assumptions, they could underbid (or overbid) and make it hard for the homeowner to compare bids or prepare themselves financially.

Kevin Knobles, KMK Contracting: “Jack of all, master of none.” Very few homeowners have the necessary skills to handle all of the different components of a remodel correctly so that the finished product is one your family and friends will be jealous of. However, some homeowners have some very useful skills that can and should be put to work. Know your boundaries and stick to them and get the help of professionals where you lack the skills or experience. That way you can still be part of the project but not end up with something that you regret in the long run.

Leo Lantz, Leo Lantz Construction: The project’s timelines to complete is grossly underestimated. My Dad always said, “Son, you can’t beat a man at his trade.” Well, if you don’t do it all the time, you can’t be as fast as he is…

Novel Remodeling: Not measuring properly. Let’s assume you are replacing a few windows in your home. As a licensed general contractor, we measure the windows from opening to opening. Often times homeowners that are DIY and just want windows because they believe they can replace them themselves. Many times they measure incorrectly and then have huge delays when windows arrive and do not fit in the opening. 

BuildingAdvisor.com: Poor space planning. This can be clashing doors, uneven floor transitions, or inadequate clearances in kitchens and baths. Take the time to plan your project with accurate scale drawings, models, or full-size mock-ups. Problems are easy to fix now, but nearly impossible after the fact.

Tim Andersen Architect: Remodeling becomes remuddling when the original character and integrity of a house are lost in the renovation process. This happens when changes are inappropriate for the period and style. Misguided improvements confuse and diminish character, as will additions that overwhelm the original scale and features of the house.

Pathway Design and Construction: Planning ahead and making sure all materials and products have been selected, purchased, and double-checked for size, style, or content before the project begins. Time, frustration, and waste are minimized when you can get all of your supplies in (and make sure they are correct) before you start. You may run the risk of not getting enough of a product and it no longer being available when you’re only halfway through and discover you’re short. 

Blue Diamond Remodeling: Thinking how easy the project is due to seeing it on TV, they don’t show the difficulties on TV with the jobs, they show it to be smooth and easy. When homeowners have failed with the DYI project they end up calling professionals for help.

DeckRemodelers.com: Because a typical re-decking project does not require structural inspections, this leaves the homeowner to rely upon their contractor’s knowledge. Unless they design and build decks every day, they are unlikely to have that specialized knowledge of local codes, structural load requirements, and expertise needed to provide you with a safe deck. If your existing deck is almost 15+ years old, the frame was not built to meet current code requirements for load and structural integrity. Yes, you may need a new deck, or at the very least a major upgrade of the structure of the deck to get the finished look you want and the safety you need. Remember, safety first!

Jack Crocker, Classic Home Improvements: Homeowners often severely under-estimate how long a project will take (especially if they have a full-time job) as well as how much the project will cost. They are often shocked at the cost of re-work when they aren’t satisfied with the end result.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lexi is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about real estate and design trends. Her dream home would be a contemporary home with an open floor plan, lots of windows, and a waterfront view.

| 1/29/2020 11:02:19 AM | 72 comments
Add Blogs to RSS FeedAdd Blogs to RSS Feed

Recent posts

No recent posts

Post archive

June 2022(2)
May 2022(2)
April 2022(2)
March 2022(3)
February 2022(1)
January 2022(5)
October 2021(2)
August 2021(3)
July 2021(1)
June 2021(2)
May 2021(1)
March 2021(2)
February 2021(1)
December 2020(1)
November 2020(2)
October 2020(2)
September 2020(3)
July 2020(3)
May 2020(2)
March 2020(2)
January 2020(2)
November 2019(1)
October 2019(4)
September 2019(3)
August 2019(3)
July 2019(5)
June 2019(3)
May 2019(5)
February 2019(3)
January 2019(3)
December 2018(1)
November 2018(3)
October 2018(2)
September 2018(3)
August 2018(3)
July 2018(4)
June 2018(6)
May 2018(3)
April 2018(2)
March 2018(3)
February 2018(1)
January 2018(1)
November 2017(4)
October 2017(5)
September 2017(6)
August 2017(4)
July 2017(2)
June 2017(2)
May 2017(4)
April 2017(6)
March 2017(3)
February 2017(6)
January 2017(6)
December 2016(3)
November 2016(4)
October 2016(8)
September 2016(5)
August 2016(3)
June 2016(3)
May 2016(5)
April 2016(4)
March 2016(5)
February 2016(4)
January 2016(4)
December 2015(3)
November 2015(4)
October 2015(9)
August 2015(4)
July 2015(3)
June 2015(7)
May 2015(2)
April 2015(5)
March 2015(9)
February 2015(6)
January 2015(7)
December 2014(2)
November 2014(7)
October 2014(5)
September 2014(3)
August 2014(5)
July 2014(6)
June 2014(7)
May 2014(3)
April 2014(5)
March 2014(8)
February 2014(7)
January 2014(7)
December 2013(6)
November 2013(8)
October 2013(5)
September 2013(4)
August 2013(4)
July 2013(6)
June 2013(8)
May 2013(8)
April 2013(15)
March 2013(6)
February 2013(11)
January 2013(8)
December 2012(6)
November 2012(7)
October 2012(20)
September 2012(14)
August 2012(6)
March 2012(4)
January 2012(1)
April 2011(2)