Hidden Costs of DIY Projects: 7 Ways to Tackle Home Repairs and Renovations Without Wasting Your Money

hidden costs of diy projects: 7 ways to tackle home repairs and renovations without wasting your money

man makes repairs home renovation fixer upper_iStock-1313432015

DIY projects can seem like a budget-friendly way to improve your home, but they often come with hidden costs that can quickly add up. To ensure that your home repairs and renovations don’t drain your finances, it’s crucial to approach these projects strategically. According to Forbes, Americans spent $481 billion on home renovation projects in 2023. With so much money going into these projects, its crucial to now how to save.

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Types of DIY Projects to Do Yourself

  • Paint Interior Walls
  • Make Simple Exterior Upgrades
  • Update Paint and Hardware on Old Furniture
  • Replace Outdated Faucets and Showerheads
  • Transform Blank Walls or Corners

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Here’s how to tackle DIY home improvement efficiently:

Underestimating Costs

The number one pitfall for many DIYers is underestimating the cost of materials and tools. Always add a contingency of at least 20% to your estimated budget to cover unexpected expenses. Research prices ahead of time, buy materials in bulk when possible, and consider renting tools instead of buying them.

Choosing the Wrong Materials

Opting for the cheapest materials can lead to poor results and may require more frequent replacements or repairs. Invest in quality where it counts, particularly in high-traffic areas or for structural components. Consult with professionals at home improvement stores to make informed decisions.

Overlooking Permits

Many homeowners start projects without understanding the local building codes or permit requirements. This oversight can lead to fines or the need to redo work to meet code standards. Before you begin, check with your local building department to determine if your project needs a permit.

Wasting Materials

Incorrect measurements and inexperienced mistakes can lead to wasted materials. Take precise measurements and double-check them before cutting. If you’re unsure, consider hiring a professional for parts of the project that require high accuracy.

Longer Timeframes

DIY projects often take longer than expected, which can be frustrating and disruptive to your daily life. Be realistic about the time you can dedicate to the project and plan for it to take longer than anticipated. This planning helps manage stress and expectations.

Safety Concerns

Tackling projects without the proper safety gear or knowledge can lead to injuries. Invest in protective equipment like goggles, gloves, and helmets. Learn how to safely use each tool and follow recommended safety practices.

Improper Techniques

Inadequate skills can lead to subpar work that might need professional correction later. Utilize online tutorials, workshops, and books to improve your DIY skills. For complex projects, such as electrical or plumbing work, consider hiring a professional to ensure the job is done right.

Implementing a Planned Approach

Always start with a detailed plan and a clear budget. Sketch out your project, list the required materials and tools, and schedule each phase of the work. This preparation can prevent many of the hidden costs associated with DIY home improvement.

By being aware of these potential pitfalls and preparing accordingly, you can ensure that your DIY projects improve your home without unexpected financial burdens.

Editor's note: This article was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates' editorial team.

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