Whether you’re taking up a full-fledged renovation project or simply doing repair jobs around the home, the skill of DIY is essential for homeowners and renters hoping to save money on professional services.
You may enjoy getting creative and getting the job done on a smaller budget, but there are several risks of DIY design mistakes that can cost you money and time, defeating the entire purpose. In fact, DIY disasters have cost British people up to £75,000!
In this article, we discuss the top risks associated with doing design and renovation projects yourself — be sure to avoid these to ensure a successful project!
Missized End Products
Design mistakes can result in end products that are smaller or larger than the anticipated size. For example, you may construct a chair that is too big for the dining table you’re pairing it with, or you may cut out a piece of wallpaper that is too small for the wall you’re applying it on. Such errors can potentially ruin the project and make you start from scratch.
How To Avoid: Take time to mark and measure, then measure again to ensure proper readings. Use a ruler or tape measure throughout the project, and keep it straight and flat against the surface you’re measuring. It is also helpful to consider ergonomics while measuring. For example, keep an extra 3 to 5% for mistakes. This makes sure you don’t cut a piece that is too small; a large one can later be cut and perfected.
Typically, paint tones may appear different on the wall as compared to the swatch cards we see them on while purchasing. This means we can end up with colours that look entirely different from what we envisioned while choosing them.
How To Avoid: Do test runs on the wall before purchasing your final paint colour. Paint stores provide shade samples for this purpose; you can pick two to three shades similar to what you’re looking for and paint small patches on the wall. Observe the shades and their undertones (here’s how to identify paint undertones) in different levels of light throughout the day before choosing the colour you will proceed with.
Clumpy and Flaky Paint
As much as you want to return furniture to your room after the painting is done, wall paint may end up clumpy and flaky if you interact with the paint before it’s fully dry. This may occur due to a lack of ventilation in the room or insufficient time allowed for drying, leading to a ruined paint job.
How To Avoid: Open the windows to allow ventilation and give the walls enough time to dry after painting. Typically, latex paint dries within an hour of application, while oil-based paints may take up to 6 hours. Read the instructions on your paint can for an accurate estimate of time to wait before applying another coat or moving the furniture in. Also, apply the paint evenly — if you’re new to painting, using a paint roller helps with even application. If you’ve ended up with tacky paint, here’s how to fix it.
Uneven Furniture Finishes
If you’re working with wooden furniture in your DIY project, you may notice the surface of the product has unsightly scratches, bumps, or marks, and the paint applied doesn’t adhere to the surface effectively. Such problems occur due to skipping essential prepping steps, such as sanding.
How To Avoid: Prep the wood before painting or staining it. This is done by sanding down the surface with suitable sanding paper. Also, choose the right sandpaper grit and type — here’s how.
Delayed Completion Times
If you’re in a hurry to get things done and skip essential steps, you may actually extend the completion time of your project! For example, starting without a well-thought list of materials will have you aimlessly wandering through the aisles of stores. You may end up buying things you don’t need and potentially miss items essential for the DIY project. This results in multiple trips to the store, wasted time and energy, and a longer-than-anticipated DIY project timeline.
Other factors contributing to delayed project timelines are incorrect measurements, the wrong paint colours, and other errors that can take you a few steps back in the project.
How To Avoid: Spend time discovering the materials you need for the project, and curate a detailed list before heading to the hardware or craft store. This will ensure you have everything you need in a single trip — and you don’t have too many leftovers once the project is done. Additionally, focus on taking the right measurements and testing paint colours with swatches.
Doing projects yourself allows you to be creative and have fun throughout the process, but it comes with its challenges. Certain design mistakes, such as the ones we’ve listed above, result in undesired project outcomes; be sure to keep them in mind to ensure a successful project! Tip: In addition to DIYing, there are other ways to save on materials and supplies during home renovations. Messing up with the budget is a top renovation mistake made by homeowners, so keep that in mind, too!
Hesitating to begin your DIY project because of potential design mistakes? Get in touch with one of our Gurus, and they can help you formulate a thoroughly plan for your DIY project, so you can get the results you desire!