Stupid Things Do-It-Yourself-ers Forget

Start-Up

Skimping on Safety:

Invest in proper safety equipment. The number one reason people don’t finish is because they skimp on safety equipment and make a stop to the emergency room. Get some safety googles for working with power tools. Wear a hard hat when there is scaffolding or open windows. Get some gloves for when you need to move wood, metal and sheetrock, and whatever you do don’t wear loose clothing while working.

Permits:

Permits do more than collect money for the Government. Think of a permit as hiring a professional to double check your work is safe and won’t get you into trouble with your insurance company. If you’re not sure your project needs a permit the basic rule is to double check with the building/permitting office near you for any project larger than painting your home.

Cheap Tools/Supplies:

Few thing mess up a project like buying cheap tools and supplies. Not only will your project suffer your wallet in the long run will suffer.

Do it yourself deck

Outside the Home

Bad Site Planning:

If you’re doing a project that’s a bit larger you may have materials delivered. If this is the case you need to carefully plan your job site, because you don’t want supplies stacking up on top of each other. If you’re planning on leaving items outside you need to check the weather forecast before ordering. You’ll also need to beware that if your materials aren’t properly stored they could be stolen, and make sure they’re not placed in heavy traffic areas.

Skipping Deck Sealer:

Decks get torn up from the sun, wind, rain and dirt and usually need a replacing within a number of years. Using a clear sealer on your wooden deck might add some extra dollars onto your project but in the long run it will save you money.

Wrong Way Windows:

You would be surprised just how many people install their windows backwards. Make sure your window locks are on the inside of the house, and not outside the house.

Swinging Doors:

Nothing says luxury like installing brand new French entryway doors incorrectly. Make sure your doors swing open the way you want it. The last thing you want is to knock over the lamp by opening the door.

Doors, Walls & Ceilings

Using the Wrong Paint:

Using the right paint can really make the difference between a good project and a great project. Walls need paint with eggshell or with a satin finish because they’re easier to clean.

Painting Dirty Walls:

Good job stupid you just painted dirt. Cleaning the surface is 90% of the work, so if you skip it you’re going to get bad results. Make sure to patch up any holes in the wall, and if you’re trying to cover an oil based paint use primer or stain blocker before laying down a coat of paint.

Say Bye to Outlets:

Planning on putting up some wallpaper?  Don’t forget you have outlets otherwise you’ll be saying, “I swear we had an outlet over here.”

Strobe Lights:

If you’re installing a ceiling fan make sure you’re not doing it too close to an existing ceiling light. If you do you might have a seizure from the strobe light effect.

Going Up:

Some folks are switching from the traditional round door knobs in favor of door handles. As such we have a brand new DIY mistake: upside down door handles. Instead of pushing down on the handle to open the door you have to pull up.

Kitchen & Bath

Turn off Water:

There was a story from New York in which a DIY-er decided to install a new toilet. He shut off the water but didn’t tell the other folks in the home. He had to run to the store to get something for the project and by the time he returned the water main was turned back on and his basement was flooded. Let’s just say he was happy to have insurance.

Hot is Cold:

I know it sounds dumb, and that’s because it is dumb, but people do it anyways. Don’t install the faucets backwards. “H” stands for hot, not cold. “C” stands for cold, not hot. You’ve been warned.

Mirrors:

You have nice eyebrows but make sure you can see your whole face. I wouldn’t mention it if someone hasn’t done it. Make sure you don’t install your vanity mirror so high you only see the top of your head. Measure makes right.

Almost Finished

Impatiently Working:

Measure twice and cut once. Nothing is a bigger waste of time than having to do the same job twice.

Pushing your Limits:

Don’t push yourself into dangerous situations. Double check the roof before you go stepping on it. Don’t go standing on the top step of the ladder. Watch those exposed wires when doing electrical work. It’s the little things we’ve done a million times that get us into trouble. Be sure you know your limit and double check everything.

Switching Materials:

If your project calls for a hammer use wrench. Wait that doesn’t make sense does it. So why do we use improper materials to complete our projects. If the project calls for steel don’t use wood!  It’s just one of those obviously stupid things we still do from time to time.

Communicate: 

There was a story from New York in which a DIY-er decided to install a new toilet. He shut off the water but didn’t tell the other folks in the home. He had to run to the store to get something for the project and by the time he returned the water main was turned back on and his basement was flooded. Let’s just say he was happy to have insurance.

You can do it

We buy houses all over the united States and we’ve seen a lot of do-it-yourself projects gone wrong. Hopefully the tips above will help you avoid some of the mistakes we see all over the country. When in doubt measure it out twice, and double check this list again, and in no time flat you’ll have your next project up and running.

Featured images:
     License: Image author owned

Austin Faux works for We Buy Ugly Houses and cruises around the United States appraising home values. When not on the road I’m home doing my own do-it-yourself projects that my wife racks up for me. Austin also loves to frequent parks with his kids, and enjoy a good picnic.