Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Avoid these common home improvement mistakes


Every once in a while, homeowners decide to pick up the tools themselves. These "do-it-yourselfers" can often save a lot of money on repair bills and professional help, although the risks do increase.

Without experienced help performing the difficult tasks, more could go wrong. Therefore, homeowners should be on the look out for common DIY home improvement mistakes and try to avoid them. Also, a property inspection can be a great way to double check any renovations - and make sure that they have been completed correctly.

Plan for every scenario
A DIY project could quickly go wrong without the proper planning ahead of time. For instance, someone who decides to pick up a sledgehammer and gut a kitchen probably won't do it right. Any good home improvement starts with planning, especially those completed by confident residents. 

Homeowners should assume projects will take three times as long and cost twice as much money, according to That way, all mistakes and unpredictable occurrences will be accounted for, and the worse-case scenario can be managed well. One major mistake common before any DIY renovation is skipping out on the permits. Many large improvements need approval, and a lack of permission can be a sticky situation during a sale. However, a home inspection can make sure all repairs are OK legally.

Additionally, DIY homeowners should gather all the needed tools in advance, the news source noted. Sometimes, a new task pops up unexpectedly, and missing the right equipment can slow everything down. More importantly, the tools should be high quality. The better they are, the easier the work will be to complete - which could mean less time and more savings.

Another simple DIY task that can easily go wrong is painting, explained. A poorly-painted room is a bad look during a home sale, so these projects should be a high priority. Certain paints are better for different situations, such as a flat paint for the ceiling and linseed oil-based stain for outdoor decks.  

Work hard from start to finish
Homeowners may not be thinking about selling their house just yet, but that time could come. Therefore, all DIY projects should be completed as correctly as possible, so potential buyers aren't turned away. Nobody wants to look through an open house and see half-finished repairs or shoddy construction. In fact, a property inspection will quickly identify concerning areas such as that.

In that case, home improvements have to be done right, from the first moment all the way through the end. In an article for WiseBread, Paul Michael wrote that corners should never be cut, and the phrase "that's close enough" doesn't belong in anyone's vocabulary. With that mindset in place, caution is always the best strategy. Homeowners can measure twice and always have a backup plan in place.

Also, quick fixes could be a money saving solution, as long as the correct repairs are made soon after, Michael explained. For example, duct tape could be a temporary plumbing fix until the proper tools are picked up. However, it could be a bad sign if these types of fixes are spotted during a home inspection. Duct tape will eventually give way, and more permanent repairs are always advisable.

Moreover, DIY homeowners could decide to skip out on the prep work. This is a big mistake, especially before painting. Without planning ahead, mistakes can be common. Walls need to be cleaned, areas protected with tape and tarps, and a solid primer will improve the finished product. Overall, DIY projects will be easier to pull off if every step along the way is completed.