How to DIY like a pro and avoid costly mistakes

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Monday, August 22nd, 2016 at 2:36pm.

If you just bought a new home, chances are you plan to make some changes. As a new homeowner, you may plan to do it yourself.  

After all, it’s only a small crack in that pipe. How hard could it be to fix yourself?

While many projects can be done successfully, avoid the downfall of many DIY projects. Many mistakes can be avoided by doing enough research and planning right up front before the first nail is hammered or purchase made.

Following are tips from HouseLogic.com, and embellished by our own experience, to help you get your repair or updating project right the first time.

A little forethought can save you time, money and headache of doing it more than once.

1. Research, research, research

When it comes to any job, especially plumbing, it’s important to choose the correct material. All PVC pipe is not created equal. Pipes for use in drains will not hold the pressure of water lines. Choosing the wrong pipe is sure to have your repair failing fast.

2. Allocate a budget for each element

By pre-planning for each item for your update, you can get the best solution and stay on budget. If you want a certain contemporary plumbing fixture, price out the rest of the job before making any purchases. You may find the flooring is going to cost more than expected. You’ll be able to find a lower-priced, but still stylish, faucet to stay within budget.

3.  Buy your supplies where the contractors shop

As a do-it-yourselfer, you can use all of the professional advice you can get. So when you are shopping for wood to build an outside deck, check with the local lumber yard. They often have more options and can help you make sure to get the best material for the job right down to the nails, screws and stain. Not all nails are meant to be used outdoors. Buying the wrong type can lower the quality of the finished project.

4.  Make sure your sample is large enough

Often a tile or paint that looks great as a small sample doesn’t look good at all when it is on an entire wall. It’s often worth the expense to order a box of the tile to lay out in the room before making a final decision. Many paint products are available in sample sizes. Instead of painting the sample right on the wall, apply it to a piece of poster board. That way you can move it around the room to see how it looks in different light. Be sure to look at the samples in day and night lighting, since color can change dramatically under different lighting conditions.

5.  Buy or rent the tools you need

The right tool can make all the difference – and the right tool is not always the least expensive. Paint brushes are a good example. Cheap brushes don’t hold their shape. Buying a better brush will give you a professional looking finish. Paint rollers are another tool that is worth buying a good brand name.

If you need a more substantial tool that costs more and will take up garage space after it’s no longer needed, consider renting. Boulder County has a number of rental businesses as well as a tool library at the Center for Resource Conservation. 

5.  Think twice before buying online

When buying products you’re not familiar with, mistakes can be avoided if you see the product before purchasing it. For example, a laundry sink can look really good online, only to find out it is flimsy to the touch and noisy when being filled. Cast iron tubs are another example of a product that you may not want to buy online. A 700-pound tub can be difficult to return.

By pre-planning your do-it-yourself project, you can complete the job faster and with fewer headaches. And it may even cost you less – all good results.

To see the full article from House Logic, visit https://www.houselogic.com/remodel/diy-home-remodeling/.

Tom Kalinski 
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder
303-441-5620
tomkalinski33@gmail.com

Leave a Comment