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4 ways DIY can go wrong

Depending on how extensive your bathroom remodeling plans are, it could pay off in the long run to seek professional help from the very beginning.

Do-it-yourself projects can save money, but sometimes a task can get out of control. More than 40 million homeowners a year who tackle DIY projects have failed because of inexperience, lack of planning and the allure of shortcuts. Homeowners end up spending thousands of dollars more on repairing or finishing jobs because of mistakes. Before starting out on your own, consider these top four problems you could face:

1. Taking shortcuts

Skipping tedious steps can be a big temptation when faced with a big project you want done now. It’s best to approach each project like it’s the first time and follow all the steps. Painting a specific type of door might require stripping, priming and several coats. Fixing or re-doing a peeling door can cost several hundreds of dollars more than just hiring an experienced painter to handle the job in the first place.

2. Tackling tough jobs

Homeowners might get a false sense of “expertise” with the completion of each new DIY project, which leads to more complicated jobs. Jobs that homeowners should leave to professionals include electrical or utility projects, medium- to large-size plumbing repairs and space renovations. Hiring a contractor for $250 to do a 10-hour job is a better solution than several weekends of work and added costs when attempting to do the work yourself.

3. Falling victim to injuries

The stress and strain of organizing, planning, purchasing and carrying out a home improvement project can cause much more than just a mental strain on those who delve into a job. Inexperienced or distracted homeowners can fall victim to physical injuries as well. With all the money that a do-it-yourselfer thinks he can save by going it alone, there’s a risk of losing any cash rewards when potential mishaps lead to a stack of medical bills. The risk of a fall when homeowners use ladders for clearing and replacement jobs might be too high to justify.

4. Hurting your home

You might have a concept in mind for a project, but without the knowledge and expertise when it comes to the structure of a house, you could be asking for a lot of long-term headaches and possible permanent damage to your home. You need to know the structural stability of the house when cutting joists and beams or knocking down walls. Sometimes, those elements are a central load-bearing feature that can weaken the entire structure when compromised. The outcome might not be noticeable right away, but eventually, problems start to surface such as sagging and sloping floors and cracking and buckling drywall and plaster. The best way to handle such jobs is to hire a contractor or consult a structural engineer before getting started.

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