You might prefer to make simple home repairs to save time and money. But with some do-it-yourself projects, you can quickly get in over your head, lose control, or end up with a less-than-satisfactory result that needs to be redone later. Before your next repair, remember these common DIY mistakes and avoid them at all costs!
Before starting a home repair, make sure you know all the necessary steps to get the job done. Often, the steps in a repair job must be completed in a specific order, so that doing one task correctly is only possible if you’ve done all the previous steps first. Many DIY-ers have overspent by not measuring before cutting or buying materials, for instance. Moreover, skipping steps or taking a shortcut may leave unresolved problems that don’t show up until later.
Home repairs can be dangerous or deadly if you don’t know what you’re doing or you don’t have the right equipment. Working on anything involving natural gas, propane, or electricity is especially risky. A job that requires climbing a ladder or getting up on the roof can also be dangerous. Trained technicians understand and respect the dangers associated with their work and are prepared for it. For example, flame resistant clothing commonly worn by electricians helps prevent burn injuries. You may be able to prepare and protect yourself in some cases by wearing safety glasses or gloves, but with some home repairs, the risk isn’t worth it. Call a professional.
Another common mistake is using the wrong tools. Maybe you don’t know what tool to use or you don’t own the equipment necessary to do the job. But using the wrong tool can result in breakage, shoddy workmanship, or problems with the final product that can show up later. Before starting a project, gather up all the tools you will need in advance. Double check sizes—the correct size or gauge can make a big difference. If special equipment is needed, you may be able to rent it, but be sure you know how it operates. The rental company can train you on how to use it safely.
Most homeowners can handle small repairs and maintenance in their own homes. Yet, it’s also important to know your own limits and realize when a job is too big for you. Before your next project, plan, prepare, and be aware of what can go wrong.
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