I ran across an interesting article from the Arizona Republic that I thought would make a great blog post. The topic is 5 BIG mistakes that do-it-yourself-ers make that can cost you in time, money, frustration, quality of end product, and as the article states, "dirty looks from your spouse." :)
- You didn't make a plan! One of the main reasons do-it-yourself-ers start more jobs than they finish is because they don't realize which materials, how much time, the amount of money, or kind of expertise they really need to finish a job - before they start it. An example? You want to turn an unused room into a home theatre. You think all you need are some comfy chairs, a huge t.v. on the wall, add some DVD's and some speakers and you are good to go. Did you consider whether or not the room needs sound proofing, or black out drapes, or perhaps path lighting on the floor for people to come and go in the dark? All are things that could stall a project in progress!
- You didn't get a city permit! Maybe you think a do-it-yourself-er can modify their own house without letting the city know, but that isn't always the case. If you are adding a room or putting in a hot tub or pool, or maybe adding a structure - like a shed- you need a permit. Even some plumbing and electrical jobs require permits. If you're messing with a gas or sewer line, you need a permit. So before you start digging a big hole, or knocking down walls, call the city and let them know your plans. You should always get the required permits before beginning because it would be awful if you had to dig up everything you did in order to sell your house later, because it doesn't meet code.
- You're doing a job you don't know how to do! It's okay to admit that you don't know how to do everything. You aren't knowledgeable about electricity wiring? That's okay. Better you call and pay someone that does know what they are doing as opposed to risking a fire or shock because you are too proud to admit it isn't your area of expertise.
- You don't wear safety gear! You've used your power tools dozens of times without putting on safety goggles or a hard hat and you've never had any problems so you don't need it, right? Wrong. The thousands of DIYers that wind up in the emergency room every year after they're injured using their chain saws would disagree with you. Not to mention since the economy tanked, the number of DIYers visiting the emergency room has sky rocketed because we all need to take care of our own home repairs when possible to save money. Before you pick up that power tool or even a hammer, make sure the job you are about to do is one you can do safely. If you aren't sure, hire a pro. Saving a few bucks, isn't worth a potential hospital visit. If you are confident that you can do the job yourself, then suit yourself up for it, so if a hammer falls on your head, it won't knock you out!
- You don't get around to the small stuff! That air conditioner that's acting up, could leave your family sweltering in the middle of July and cost you thousands of dollars if you ignore it and don't figure out what is going on before it goes out completely. That dripping faucet isn't really hurting anybody and can wait, but you could end up with a pricey water bill! Sure those small projects aren't as much fun as the big ones, but letting them go will make those small problems become big ones before you know it. Fix them while they cost little time and money, and save your weekends and cash for working on the fun stuff.
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Article credit to Rosie Romero