7 Home Improvements You’re Most Likely to Make a Mess Of


Are you considering doing some home remodeling on your own? Do-it-yourself, or DIY, projects abound on the internet and on TV. You can find programs showing homeowners doing all sorts of remodeling jobs from painting to adding on rooms—but just because you see it on TV doesn’t mean you should actually try it yourself!

Depending on your level of skill, there are many upgrades that homeowners can do, but there are also a lot of jobs that take more skill than most people realize until they are in the middle of making a mess of it. Here are seven that we’ve seen and want you to be aware of.

Interestingly, three of the seven relate in one way or another to floors. Maybe because it’s down low and flat, it seems like the floor is something that would be hard to screw up, but read on—it isn’t difficult at all!

1. Tiling

Since we’ve just mentioned floors, let's talk about tiling. Laying tile may look as simple as building with Legos, but there is a lot that can go wrong. First off, it’s important to know that there are many different kinds of tile and different strengths, even among ceramics. Using the wrong type will leave you with a floor that cracks easily. The kind and size of tile you choose also affects the kind of mortar you need. Don’t assume that the person at the home-supply store knows what you need. Remember, they are trained to sell the product on the shelf, not to know how to do the actual building job.

There are tools, such as spacers, that can help you get your tiles aligned and the right distance apart, but the real trick is to be sure you have them lined up right and centered in the room. Again, the size of the tile affects where you start your tiling, so you don’t end up with a little awkward line of tile across the threshold as you enter the room.

These are all reasons that tiling is best left to a remodeling contractor. But if you are committed to doing it yourself, be sure you read up on how it’s done, choose the right materials, and start with a small project.

2. Propping Up a Sagging Floor

If you have a floor that is sagging, it may seem like a good idea to build a support in the crawl space, which appears to be a simple DIY job. The problem is that when your floors are sagging, it is a sign of a more serious problem—usually a foundation failure. If that’s the case, the problem will get worse and costlier the longer you wait, so the DIY prop is only a Band-Aid that will wind up exacerbating the problem in the long run.

3. Deck Construction

So it’s not exactly a floor, but building a deck is our third related likely area for DIY disaster. The concept is the same, it’s a flat surface that you walk on, so it seems like it should be easy enough to do without messing up—but unfortunately, it’s much more involved than it looks.

If you must take on the task, consider going with a brick or stone patio instead. You will still need to create a stable foundation, but there’s less to go wrong and repairs are much easier.

4. Painting

Of all the home remodeling jobs, painting actually is one that most homeowners can manage themselves if they are the DIY type. However, there are different paint types for indoors and out, and differences within each type. Choosing the right kind of paint and the right tools to use with it will determine the success of the job.

5. Installing Cabinets

Changing cabinets is a simple way to update the look of your kitchen or bathroom. Hanging kitchen cabinets is a job that provides many opportunities for things to go wrong. Once you get one cabinet a little off, you are set to misalign the rest of the set, compounding the problem.

Even ordering cabinets is a problem for a lot of DIYers who don’t know how to properly measure their kitchen and plan for accommodating appliances and fixtures. If you order cabinets and they don’t quite fit, the whole job is a mess.

6. Demolition

Swinging a sledge hammer can be rewarding, but taking out the wrong structure or making a huge mess will make the home improvement you set out to accomplish much more troublesome that it needs to be.

If you are taking on your own demolition, be sure to rent a dumpster. The alternative of sending the debris out to the curb, a bit at a time, week after week, to get rid of it all won’t be worth the small amount of money you’ll save.

7. Building Without a Permit

A good remodeling contractor will take care of the permitting requirements for any remodeling you do. While it may not seem like you should have to get permission from the city to do small renovations on your property, there are some things, especially anything that adds to the living space, that do require a permit. Make sure you find out what they are in your area before beginning work.

If you would like more information on working with a remodeling contractor or have questions on your upcoming home remodeling, give us a call at 623-544-1211 or visit our website to find out more about our services and submit a contact form. Our certified universal design specialists will be happy to help you come up with a plan to get the job done as efficiently as possible.