With Pinterest, YouTube and blogs, you can find an endless amount of DIY inspiration. While a piece of wall art or an inexpensive project can be fun, there are circumstances where a do-it-yourself approach isn’t the best route. In fact, a recent survey by ImproveNet, a professional referral service, found that 63 percent of respondents who undertook at least one DIY project last year regretted not involving a professional. Fifty-five percent said the end result didn’t look good and 24 percent said it didn’t function well.
You might think as interior designers, we’re adamantly anti-DIY but that’s not the case at all. We’ve had some amazing clients who’ve been involved in the design process and took on some smaller projects of their own during it where the outcome was fantastic. We’ve also seen plenty of Pinterest wins. Yet, there can be drawbacks when tackling something bigger like a renovation. Here are some of the things many homeowners end up regretting and how to avoid them:
Unfinished Projects – Sometimes, you feel really motivated to start a project and then life gets in the way. If it’s something small, no big deal, it can go on the back burner until your motivation returns. If it’s something larger like tiling your floor or remodeling your bathroom, then it’s a problem. As professionals, we understand the scope of a project before we start and what each step entails. Depending on the project, we may also coordinate with various trades ensuring everything gets done and gets done right. If you plan to tackle a substantial home improvement project, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to a pro so they can evaluate things and give you a timeline. The better option may be to take on a few smaller tasks yourself and leave the bigger things to us.
Poor Quality Finish – This is is absolutely the biggest regret people have when DIY goes wrong. Some things look extremely easy and straight forward but are huge undertakings that require way more skill than you’d imagine. One of the most common that we’ve seen recently is painting kitchen cabinets. It looks simple online but in reality it requires extensive cleaning and prep work, specialized products and tools and experience to get a finish that you’ll love and that will actually last. To avoid regret, do your research first and be honest with yourself about your skill level and time.
Not as Functional as You had Hoped –Function isn’t always that sexy but it’s so important. If a space doesn’t work for you then regardless of how gorgeous it is, you won’t be able to really enjoy it and use it. The same goes for putting time, money and effort into a project. If, say, you’re creating a DIY vanity out of an antique piece of furniture but realize the height or width is wrong and it’s not a functional area to put a sink and still have counter space, you’re stuck unable to use it or you have to go for another option, which ties into our next point.
More Expensive than Anticipated – A reason a lot of people turn to DIY is because they think they’ll save money. However, that’s not always the case. Mistakes can be extremely costly because it often means you’ll pay for your materials and then pay again to have the whole thing fixed by a professional or to get it to a place where you can live with it. Other times, it’s easy to underestimate how much the different components will cost. Typically, the best route is to stick with manageable projects instead of big ticket ones. Save and bring in a professional for the larger projects. We work within our clients’ budgets to create spaces they love and we save them money in the process by doing it correctly the first time and by enlisting the help of skilled tradespeople.
Whether you’re looking for full-service design or just a little guidance, we can help you avoid DIY regret. Contact us to schedule a consultation!