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DIY Remodeling Mistakes: Common Mistakes Homeowners Make in DIY Remodeling

We’ve stumbled upon more DIY remodeling mistakes than we care to count. Between hidden surprises behind walls, poor layout choices or weird splurge/skimp decisions, we’ve seen it all. The worst part about DIY remodeling mistakes is that they can cost you a lot of money (and headaches) in the long run, even if you’re simply trying to correct the previous homeowner’s mistakes.

diy remodeling mistakes

Common Mistakes Homeowners Make in DIY Remodeling

Before you tackle a remodel, read through some of the most common DIY remodeling mistakes we see in our line of work.

Not budgeting adequately is a DIY remodeling mistake because…

The budget is the biggest thing to consider with any remodel, and it is often the biggest source of DIY remodeling mistakes. Whether a homeowner had unrealistic expectations for their budget, or allocated the budget incorrectly (e.g. splurged on finishes while neglecting infrastructure), this is literally one of the costliest mistakes you can make.

We always recommend talking with a professional design-builder about your budget, even if you don’t end up hiring that firm for the job. A professional can help you set realistic expectations for your budget. Plus, they’ll give you an idea of how much you might want to pad your budget for unexpected issues.

You never want to be in a position where you need to cut corners on the important things. We’ve seen time and again where homeowners had to choose low-quality materials just to save a buck, and ended up with a bigger problem on their hands. Or, we’ve seen where homeowners have had to abandon a project altogether because they blew through their budget too early. Get this step right, and you’ll avoid a lot more mistakes later on.

Expecting everything to go according to plan is a DIY remodeling mistake because…

Even the simplest remodeling projects will have an unexpected problem or two to solve. While a great design-build team will set expectations before a project starts, many DIY remodelers assume their own projects will go smoothly from start to finish.

The reality is, every home remodeling project will need to adjust the plan here and there. Sometimes materials don’t arrive on time, or you’ll find mold behind the sink. Other times, materials might arrive damaged and will need replaced, or you’ll have been sure you told your spouse to salvage that antique sink and the next thing you know it’s in the trash.

When things don’t go according to plan, sometimes it might mean an extra week or two added to your timeline. Other times it can mean a lot more money (that you don’t have in your budget), or even more emotional and physical stress. Expect a surprise or two, budget accordingly, and you’ll experience far less turmoil in your project.

Going too trendy with finishes is a DIY remodeling mistake because…

We love a good trend as much as anyone else, but going too trendy with your remodel can be a huge DIY remodeling mistake in the long run. Not only will you likely get tired of your overly trendy space, you might find that it’s extremely difficult to sell when you put your home on the market.

We’ve seen homeowners spend a huge amount of money on remodels that are too trendy, and then not have enough money to update their space when they’re tired of the trend. Trends can be a wonderful thing to sprinkle into a newly renovated space, but too much can instantly date a room you spent a lot of money to update.

Putting too much money into a remodel is a DIY remodeling mistake because…

With this DIY remodeling mistake, we’re talking less about going over budget and more about adding a huge upstairs addition to a small ranch in a neighborhood full of similar small ranches. Unless you’re sure your home is your forever home, being too grand with your remodel can not only make your home a neighborhood eyesore, it can make it impossible to sell.

Always consider the bones of your home, the overall neighborhood and your future plans when designing your remodel. It might be more cost-effective in the long run to purchase a new home that’s more in line with your vision than to over-remodel a home where you’ll never recoup your investment.

Neglecting the important stuff is a DIY remodeling mistake because…

We know you really want those marble countertops and new hardwood floors, but if you don’t address the old plumbing issues behind the walls, or fix that leaky roof, your interior finishes won’t matter much.

It’s fun to imagine the way you want your home to look, but addressing the bones of the home first is always the right answer. We’ve seen time and again where homeowners gave themselves their dream bathroom before addressing water or mold damage. New floors won’t matter much when you have to tear them up to fix other, more important issues.

We get it…it’s not “sexy” to remodel a roof or a porch before getting a new master suite but you will rest better at night knowing your home is dry, safe and secure.

Not getting the right permits is a DIY remodeling mistake because…

Not only is this DIY remodeling mistake big for you, it’s big for everyone else who lives in your home after you. It might even affect the sale of your home, and will certainly affect future remodels. This can be a very tricky step in the remodeling process and it’s imperative you get it right.

DIY Remodeling Mistakes

There are many, many more DIY remodeling mistakes we could list, but these are some of the most common we see. We strongly recommend that you hire a reputable design-build remodeling firm for your next remodel. It’s a misconception that hiring someone to help with your remodel will stretch beyond your budget, but in many cases, a professional will use your budget more efficiently and effectively.

Ask your friends or neighbors for references, and check out reviews online of local design-build firms. It’s also okay to meet with more than one firm so you can find the best fit for you, your home and your budget. Ask lots of questions when you meet, and never pretend to understand their plans and ideas if you don’t. It is always okay to ask your designer to clarify and explain their vision.

The biggest DIY remodeling mistake you can make is not being in the best hands possible for your project. A great design-build team will help you execute your dream remodel on time and on budget so you can begin to enjoy your updated space as soon as possible.

Home Remodeling in Columbus, Ohio

Dave Fox is an employee owned company who makes our clients our number one priority. We design and build home renovation projects for our clients in Central Ohio and deliver the best value through exceptional craftsmanship, excellent materials and ethical business practices. Contact us today to learn more and sign up for our newsletter here!

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We are a design-build remodeling firm unlike any other. As an employee-owned company based in Columbus Ohio, we are committed to serving our customers and employees by delivering high levels of quality and value through innovative design, unparalleled craftsmanship, and professional services. Learn more about our basement remodeling services and projects:
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