Commonly Overlooked Problems for DIY Homeowners


Top Six Most Frequent Problems for Do It Yourselfers

Noticed a few things you want to fix or change around the house and thinking about doing them yourself? Before you dive into a project, make sure you fully understand what it takes to get it done. Here are some common items homeowners overlook when they begin Do It Yourself (DIY) project.

6. Not taking out the required permits.

Many DIY tradesmen consider permits to be a bother, but they definitely serve a real purpose. The true intent behind building permits is to ensure that the job is done right and that you don’t hurt yourself. For some jobs, it actually makes a significant financial difference; insurance companies won’t cover certain items if you don’t have a permit, so if a home burns down due to a poorly installed wood stove, that’s on the homeowner. The general rule as to whether you need a permit is that you need one for anything larger than painting and wallpapering. Call the building department and ask; it’s their job to give you a heads up on whether you need a permit.

5. Starting a job without the necessary supplies.

No omission will slow down a construction or repair job faster than not having all the materials you need. One of the reasons that professionals can work so efficiently is that they buy quality tools. Make sure to research the tools and materials you need in advance of a DIY construction job.

4. Not measuring.

Accurately measuring a space and buying the appropriate amount of materials is an absolutely vital element of DIY repairs. Precisely measuring the spaces in a repair job can save you some serious dollars in not buying a bunch of materials you don’t need. It also saves time: with the right amount of materials, additional trips to the hardware store will be avoided.

3. Ignoring safety.

Most DIY construction aficionados know that electrical jobs are dangerous and require certain safety precautions. But it’s not only jobs involving electricity or gas that can potentially be very dangerous. Even small jobs can cause serious injury if homeowners don’t wear the right personal protection gear. For anything more complicated than raking leaves, it’s important to think about safety first.

2. Using cheap materials.

After investing in quality tools and committing your time to education and construction, the worst thing you can do is buy cheap materials. If you do use them, the chances are they will fail sooner rather than later, forcing you to do the same project over again. To purchase quality materials at a low cost, plan far enough in advance that you can take advantage of sales or discount outlets like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore shops.

1. ‘For now’ repairs.

The first impulse of most homeowners who have already put out significant amounts of cash just to buy a home in the first place is to do a “Band-Aid” fix when something breaks. Without a proper repair, it’s possible to cause even more damage to the home that could cost a lot of cash to fix. Even if the “Band-Aid” fix works at first, it moves the repair further and further down the list. By the time your fix fails, its repercussions will have increased the cost of the eventual repair. It’s better to do it right the first time or make the tough call and bring in a professional.

Have you ever purchased a home with problematic repairs? Share your experiences in the comments, and let’s all learn more about smart home buying together!

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