6 Home Improvement Project Mistakes to Avoid

Home improvements can increase the value of your home or turn it into a proverbial “money pit” where the spending never seems to end. To avoid this, it’s best not to rush to take out a personal loan and immediately start construction. A home improvement project takes careful planning and strategic thinking, primarily about how it will affect your family and daily routines. To make sure the project goes smoothly, here are some mistakes you should avoid.

1. Trying to do it yourself

DIY means “do it yourself” and is a term used to describe any project or activity someone takes on themselves instead of hiring a professional to do the work. DIY covers everything from home improvement projects, like replacing light fixtures or painting walls, to crafting and activities like building furniture or making your own jewelry. In most cases, when it comes to big home improvement jobs, trying to do the job yourself will end up costing you more, and the quality of the work will be sub-par. Hire a professional and get the job done right. It’s your home. Live in it. Don’t try to rebuild it.  

2. Cutting costs for materials

Cutting costs for materials might save a few dollars in the short term, but what it will cost you down the line could be a lot more. Low-cost materials are unlikely to last as long or perform as well and may even require extra repairs in the long run. High-quality materials may come with a higher price tag, but they should bring added protection against wear and tear and decrease the chances of further repairs or replacements being needed. Investing in top-quality materials can be more cost-effective than cutting corners on material costs at the beginning of your project.

3. Expecting no delays or setbacks

Starting a home improvement project and expecting no delays or setbacks is a surefire recipe for disappointment. Construction is rarely completed on schedule. Weather delays, materials shortages, and workers calling out sick can slow a project down. Take this into account when you plan. 

4. Not measuring twice

Most DIY projects, including home improvement projects, have an accepted rule: always measure twice and cut once. If you do that, and the numbers are different, measure again, and again, until you’re sure the measurement is correct. Making the slightest mistake when laying a floor or installing wall paneling can cause major problems. Inaccurate measurements can easily be avoided by double and triple-checking your work. Better yet, let the contractor take care of all that.  

5. Ignoring the original architecture

How your home was initially built dictates which improvements you can make without a major rebuild. Many homeowners make the mistake of ignoring this and end up with homes that just don’t look right after the remodeling. In extreme cases, making this mistake can even undermine the home’s structural integrity. This is one of the dangers of doing a DIY project and why building permits issued by a local agency, e.g., your local License & Inspection Department, are required. 

6. Underestimating the budget

This mistake is both common and could be devastating. Underestimating the budget for a home improvement project and running out of money is the last thing you want to do. Always estimate more than you think you’ll need if you take out a loan. If you’re using a HELOC, expect to draw extra funds during the withdrawal period. That’s just the nature of how home improvement projects work. Be prepared. 

The Bottom Line

Making improvements to your home may seem like a piece of cake, but you’ll want to watch out for many mistakes, including not hiring a licensed contractor to do the work. Many of the home improvement mistakes described above can be avoided by having a clear vision for your project, researching, and getting estimates from several contractors. By being aware of potential pitfalls, there’s a better likelihood that your home improvement experience will be smooth and successful.

Notice: Information provided in this article is for information purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views of [publisher] or its employees. Please be sure to consult your financial advisor about your financial circumstances and options. This site may receive compensation from advertisers for links to third-party websites.

Leave a Comment