Home Remodeling: 7 DIY Mistakes to Avoid

June 18, 2020

Between home renovation TV shows and Pinterest inspiration, home remodeling projects can seem easier than you expect. All you need is a little handiwork and some inspiration, right? For some projects, like updating a light fixture or painting your living room a new color, this is true and they can be tackled easily. 

That said, if you are planning on completely transforming your home or space, it’s best to trust a professional contractor to handle your home remodeling project. DIYing your home renovation can be both costly and time-consuming. Plus, trusting a professional will mitigate many of the risks associated with remodeling your home.

DIY vs. Hiring a Contractor for Your Home Remodeling

Many of the mistakes we’ve outlined in this blog happen in DIY scenarios where homeowners take on more than they can handle. Transforming your home should be exciting, not stressful. In some cases, DIY home remodeling may be the best option as the project is purely cosmetic and can be knocked out in a few days without the need for permits or inspection.

Micanopy Home Interior Renovation - Front room areas with wood floors, windows, and a fireplace.

But most often, any major changes to your home will require time, expertise, attention to detail, and extensive planning to end up with the best result, requiring you to hire a remodeling contractor. 

We’ve outlined the most common remodeling mistakes that typically occur in DIY projects below.

The Seven Most Common Home Remodeling Mistakes

Incorrectly Budgeting

Setting a budget is crucial in any remodeling project, whether you are DIYing or not. Many homeowners set their budgets at the maximum value, but fail to factor in any surprises. Older homes can hide many problems that are uncovered during the renovation process. Water damage, incorrect wiring, structural issues, or mold are just some of the examples of unforeseen problems that will chip away at your full budget.

We recommend that 10% of your budget be set aside for any surprises. This helps to create a “safety net” and allows the project to run smoothly in the event that a challenge arises. Our team prides itself on accurate estimation on the front end to give you peace of mind from start to finish.

Tackling Plumbing or Electrical By Yourself

You can’t cut corners on plumbing or electrical, especially if you have no experience in those fields. These two areas pose the biggest risks in regards to your safety, but also damage to your home. One mistake can lead to a lot of damage to your current home, which, in the end, will require even more money spent. It’s always better to be safe and trust the professionals to handle your plumbing and electrical issues.

Mis-Measuring Cabinets

In major remodeling projects, such as the kitchen or bathroom, your biggest investments will include countertops and cabinets. Custom-built cabinets will need precise measurements to ensure a smooth installation. A common mistake DIYers make is mismeasuring the space needed for all of their new cabinets.

Make sure that the appliances you desire to replace or reinstall are taken into consideration for the cabinet measurements. You don’t want to spend all that money on new cabinets just to find out your new fridge doesn’t fit!

Ignoring Energy Efficiency

In the midst of your remodeling project, no matter the scale, you can become so focused on the cosmetic, or noticeable changes, that you disregard energy efficiency. Choosing energy-efficient options for your windows, doors, and lighting can help you save money long after your remodel wraps up. McFall Builders prides itself on being Gainesville’s most trusted green home builder, meaning that we prioritize energy-efficient and green home practices to save you money.

Not Sticking with Original Plan

Planning your remodeling project is crucial to the success (or stress) of the entire project. Taking the time to fully plan your budget, design, timeline, and preparations will set you up for a smoother renovation process. But, throwing your plan away and going back to the drawing board once you’ve begun remodeling is a big mistake.

Changing your mind or considering other options that stray from the original plan results in more cost for your project. Everything works within the design and plan, so once you change it, it becomes a much bigger issue to tackle. Save yourself from stress, expense, and heartbreak by firmly deciding on the plan before any project begins.

Making Your Project Too “Trendy”

Do you ever look at an older home’s shag carpet and think “who thought this was a good idea?” In 1970, it seemed like a good idea, but now not so much. In the same way, you should remodel your home to remain timeless. Whether or not you plan to sell your home in 5-10 years, you should stick to a more timeless design. Refrain from choosing trendy features and instead, think of your long-term wishlist.

Forgetting About Permits

Lastly, but certainly most important, most remodeling projects require permitting. Depending on the county and city you reside in, you may need to obtain proper permits to even begin construction. Most permits are required for plumbing, electrical, or structural changes. Ignoring permits may lead to fines from your local government and can also lead to struggles selling your home, down the line. This is why trusting a professional to handle your remodeling project will save you time and money by handling all necessary preparations for any of your remodeling projects. 

Home Remodeling with McFall Builders Inc. in Gainesville, FL

Choosing to DIY your home remodeling project can come with a lot of stress, and investment in both money and time. Additionally, attempting to DIY increases your risk of committing one of these remodeling mistakes.

Most importantly, you should enjoy the transformation that your home will receive. McFall Builders has been designing, constructing, and creating spaces that Gainesville homeowners love for over 35 years. Don’t stress about your remodeling project and reach out to us to handle your remodeling or new construction project.