DIY Home Projects: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them




DIY projects can be a great way to save some money and explore your talents at the same time. However, making mistakes while doing these projects can also be inevitable, if you haven’t done your homework right. We’ve asked experts to share the most common DIY home project mistakes and what to do to avoid them.


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Some mistakes cost


Homeowners often implement changes before consulting a designer. They call me after they have put lighting in the wrong location, painted walls the wrong color, or purchased furnishings that don’t fit and that is costly to or impossible to return. I tell my clients “Call me first! For a small fee, I can and will save you thousands on your project!”

Hood River Redesign


Function & form


Sacrificing function for form – As far as making sure you take the time to plan the cabinet design to be as functional as possible – incorporating items like drawers for spices, pull-out trash compactor, and appliance drawers, thin vertical pull-outs for pans and cutting boards, open shelving or open spaces in the island for cookbooks, ensuring there are enough electrical outlets in the right places…

Aspen Leaf Interiors


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Be realistic


I think a common DIY remodeling mistake is to get so excited about a project and jump in without doing any practice runs on a smaller scale…. Sometimes enthusiasm will supersede the knowledge and experience to do it right. Take a deep breath and do your homework…and ask for help…For example, spraying cabinetry looks easy enough with great results right? There is a good amount of sanding, prepping, removing the doors, making sure you get the art of how to correctly spray…DIY’s are never as easy as they look… you could end up with a big drippy mess and more work to do…practice and get advice and you will have more fun with a result you like a whole lot better…..As they say ” measure twice cut once.

Rachel Greathouse Design



Watch out for quality


The biggest DIY mistake I see is when homeowners use vendors with the lowest bids. There is usually a reason the service or product is cheap, and that may be because it is lacking in quality or knowledge. Make sure to get multiple bids from vendors and even ask for references to avoid issues down the road.

Erica Bryen Designs



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Tight budget


DIY Disasters are absolutely a thing! Especially if a tight budget is involved! One way to avoid them is by spending a little more on the quality of materials to ensure that it does not fall apart at the worst possible moment OR hire a professional to avoid further damage! For example, those DIY rustic wood wall planks, if the wall is not level or they are not applied properly they will buckle fairly quick, fall out on your head while you’re sleeping, and end up destroying the wall that it has been applied on! As a designer, I do my best to educate my clients on all the possibilities of what can go wrong if they attempt certain things on their own! Like the saying goes “sometimes cheap is more expensive!”.

K-Ann Creations & Design

Painting cabinets


Painting cabinets yourself can be a timely and expensive mistake if not done correctly. If you decide to tackle this large DIY, make sure you do your homework, prep – do not skip steps, and use the proper type of paint. Taking the time to do each step correctly will ensure a professional finish that will last.

CM Fresh Perspectives



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Work/study spaces


Many people are challenged with open floor plans now that we’re living, working and studying from home. If you’re looking for a DIY project with a big payoff, why not create better private work and study spaces within your home? If you are lucky enough to have a home office or a study, those rooms are ideal candidates. If not, you can use a corner of a dining room or spare bedroom. Sometimes, the best option can even be a CLOSET like the stylish and productive ones on our blog. Remember the key features for any of these work/study spaces are a desk or small table, a comfortable chair, good lighting, and a little privacy.

Pamela Hope Designs


Working with a designer


Meeting with a qualified interior designer, albeit in person or virtual, will make all the difference with designing a kitchen to look and feel more custom with the use of prefab cabinetry.

Leann Michael



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It’s all about details


Make sure to look at all samples [tile, paint, fabrics, flooring] in your own light- For products that belong on the floor- look at them on the floor- on the wall-test them on the wall- colors look very different in different settings.

CP Interiors


Take a break


Take Your Time! DIY projects have stress naturally built-in; if you find yourself getting frustrated, irritated, annoyed, or begin making mistakes- walk away. Get a snack, take the dog out, pet the cat and decompress. You’ll be ready to tackle your project after a much-needed break and change of scenery!

Third And Windsor Design