3 Bad DIY Habits to Break Right Now

Originally published on doityourself by Amy Jensen

DIY projects can leave you feeling super accomplished—but have you ever biffed big-time and messed up on a project? Have you ever had to redo a project a few times? Have you ever attempted to complete a project that just isn’t happening because it’s way outside of your level of expertise? Prevent these and other mishaps by breaking these three bad DIY habits right this very moment. Here's how!

1. Stop Rushing and Do the Research

DIY projects take planning and research in order for them to be completed correctly. Many times people will quickly watch a video or browse an article, buy the supplies, and get started without looking into all the minor details. However, one video or article won’t always contain all of the information necessary to complete a project by yourself. There are many small things that may be different in your case—perhaps you’re working on a different type of surface or you need a different type of sealant. Chances are you're going to run into some other minor detail that the DIY instructions aren’t going to tell you about.

Take a few extra minutes to browse informational and educational websites for details about the products and objects you’re using in your project. For example, if you’re trying to replace a water heater, make sure to read up on the style and model you have before attempting to replace it. These are the details a DIY video or article won’t mention, and this research may contain changes that can prevent mistakes otherwise sabotaging your entire project.

2. Quit Substituting Supplies

Don’t be cheap! Buy the supplies needed for a project, especially if a certain level of quality is suggested. Old products can work incorrectly—especially glue, paint, caulking, and other liquid and chemical-based products. Don’t use an item just because it’s around—get the new stuff! Otherwise, you could end up with lots of crazy mishaps. DIY projects are not like cooking, where you can take one item and substitute it for another—they are a serious business that requires adequate supplies.

You don’t want an uneven paint job, bricks that won’t stay put, or tiles that slide around, so stick to the directions given by the pros and their tips. Otherwise, you may have to redo a job right away, or in a few years instead of decades. Nobody wants to do a job twice! Pick your battles. Your supplies should not be one of them.

 3. Don’t Take Shortcuts

DIY projects require planning, measuring, and time to complete. Otherwise, you may end up with a tree growing into your house, two cabinet doors that hit each other, or one piece of tile that doesn’t fit. If you have a project with a time stamp on it, make sure to enlist plenty of help from friends, family, and maybe even a few local professionals. Follow the directions step by step, making sure you know and understand ALL of the directions before you begin. Be prepared.

Speaking of professionals, don’t take on projects you know you’ll be terrible at! For example, if power tools are your nemesis, don’t touch them. Pick a different project to do in your spare time, and leave the hard work to the professionals. You don’t want to have to pay someone to not only complete a project you couldn’t finish, but to repair any extra mistakes you might have made.