By Ian Preston
So, your new bathroom vanity just pulled loose from the wall and collapsed when you leaned on it to shave this morning. Oh, sure, you wanted to save a few bucks and have the satisfaction of doing it yourself. But, now, you are ankle deep in water, face covered in shaving cream, about ready to skip work and call someone who knows what they are doing! You are facing the irrefutable fact that DIY does not always go smoothly.
Here is the Shocking Truth About Why You Suck at DIY!
You Don’t Have a Plan
Planning and preparation are the foundation of a quality job. You’ve heard to measure once and cut twice…wait, that’s the other way around. Read the instructions, and consider that they may actually be more than just another guy’s opinion. A proper plan will increase the odds of having all of the necessary supplies before starting, so you can avoid several extra trips to the hardware store covered in paint, glue, and grease. Invest plenty of time in research, measuring, and estimating.
You Lack the Proper Tools
Any DIY project requires the proper tools. We all know better than to use a butter knife for a screwdriver, but have you ever used a pair of pliers to tighten a bolt? How about driving in a nail with a pair of vise grips? We’ve all been there, but doing a professional job requires a suitable arsenal of tools. Once you experience the ergonomic feel of Fiskars needle nose pliers, or you get the perfect wrench set, you learn the value of investing in good tools. Match the tool with the job, and you will be amazed at the ease of completing the task at hand. And, invest in a tool cart to keep them organized and readily available..
You Tried to Cut Corners
Don’t fall into the trap of finding a shortcut that will prove costly in the long run. Spray foam is not good for insulating windows, and you know better than to secure carpet in place with super glue. And, a leak around the base of a toilet is going to require more than caulking to effective repair. It’s best to dig in, fully assess the root cause of the problem, and spend the time to take care of the problem properly.
You Failed to Budget Time and Money Correctly
If your solution to only having 1/3 of the wood you need to build a new deck is to just reduce it’s dimensions, no worries. Otherwise, you need to be on point when developing a budget, and it’s a good idea to pad it a little. If you have extra left over at the end, you are in a far better position than coming up short. Also, be sure to budget your time properly. Can you tile your bathroom and install a new shower before the game on Saturday? Probably not. But, you can use a spreadsheet to make a few basic calculations to help keep your blood pressure low.
You Didn’t Make Safety a Consideration
You don’t want all the money you are saving to be offset by an expensive medical bill, so don’t make your own scaffolding from a couple ladders and a piece of plywood. And, definitely don’t shoot a nail through your hand using a nail gun! The best advice is to have protective clothing and glasses, a first aid kit, and a cell phone close at hand. And, read all instructions carefully.
Should Have Recognized Jobs to Avoid
Be sure to recognize jobs that are not suitable for a DIY project. Electrical, plumbing, structural modifications, and roofing are all good candidates for jobs left to professionals. In addition to the complexity of the work, some of these jobs require special permits, so tread lightly.
Be sure to avoid the pitfalls outlined above. The points discuss the reasons that projects fail, but they can be avoided. Take these to heart, and you will be well on your way to successfully completing your next project safely, on time, and within budget. And, you will have the satisfaction that only comes from doing it yourself.