5 Common DIY and Renovation Mistakes That Can End Up Being Costly
Brits are underestimating the cost of renovations every year and getting themselves into DIY projects that turn out to be virtual minefields. Many homeowners want to carry out the renovations themselves, but often misjudge the costs and difficulty of some home upgrades. Part of the reason is that more often than not, popular home renovations shows give us the wrong impression of the real costs and difficulty of property renovations. The projects we covered on 'DIY Trends for 2018' on the other hand, are easy to budget for and won’t break the bank. With that in mind, we have a few tips and common DIY mistakes you should avoid next time you embark on a home project.
Not having a schedule
One of the most common mistakes made by homeowners is not coming up with a schedule and sticking to it. Planning a home renovation should be taken seriously and the proper time needs to be allotted for the upheaval, especially when it comes to larger-scale renovations. For bathroom renovations, you also need to have a backup bathroom, when you decide to start any major work and allot about 5 months to such a major project. The same timeline applies for major kitchen renovations, where piping, electrical and cabinetwork needs to be done. Loft conversions, on the other hand, can take up to 6-7 months and a home extension 7+ months. Rushing through or not timing your steps properly means you might have to reschedule electricians, tilers, or plumbers, often at additional costs.
Poor layout for the kitchen
One of the most popular renovations projects is on the kitchen, and this is where most issues arise, as homeowners tend to go for design over practicality. Love Property recommends that you start with the basics and create your design around what’s possible, rather than what’s aesthetically pleasing. If you absolutely must move your plumbing, it’s best to hire a professional plumber for advice before rearranging the position of your sink and installing additional piping, because if you do it yourself it might cost you more in the long run. Homeserve note how burst pipes are a common occurrence and can be costly to fix. However, a professional will help you avoid issues like this and ensure that your water pressure is on-point.
Bathroom water drainage in the wrong place
This is a very common mistake and it happens a lot in DIY bathroom projects. It’s generally due to poor planning and not taking the correct measurements. Apart from garden makeovers, Renovation Projects explains that bathrooms are the second most popular in-home renovation projects in the UK. And unsurprisingly this is another area where blunders happen. If you’re redesigning your bathroom make sure you don’t move fixtures around unnecessarily. DIYers often forget that fixtures like toilets, sinks and bathtubs/showers need to properly align with their respective drains. If water does not drain properly in your bathroom it can cause bad odours and leaks. Make sure you measure to the inch before attempting any new fixture installations.
Doing the electrical work yourself
Unless you’re a qualified electrician, anything involving potentially dangerous and complicated jobs should be left to the professionals. Attempting projects like electrical work on your own can be very dangerous and can be a recipe for disaster. A common issue is incorrectly splicing wires, which may function for a while but will eventually come loose and create a dangerous situation. A professional will know what kind of cables you’ll need to run, what gauge thickness they have to be and where exactly in the walls they need to be installed. They’ll also be able to advise you, based on current and future power requirements of your home, on the number of outlets and consumption requirements. Playing around with electricity isn’t advisable, so make sure you take any alterations seriously.
Unsafe structural alterations
Any alterations to load-bearing walls, lintels, columns, chimney breasts or buttresses, or even cutting out roof timber without compensation for the changes can lead to major disasters. While your house may not collapse, Homebuilding and Renovating explain that it can cause all sorts of problems, from warped floors, stuck windows to partially collapsed walls or chimney stacks, among others. Additionally, any alterations to the building’s structure require an inspection to ensure that it won’t collapse and it’s up to code. Therefore, it’s best to hire an experienced builder to identify which elements are structural and how to alter them safely.