Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, March 13, 2020

DIY mistakes to avoid

Spring is around the corner in the Tennessee Valley, so you might be motivated to tackle a household project you’ve been avoiding all winter long.

Regular household chores such as changing air filters or replacing lightbulbs are low cost and easy ways to keep your home running optimally. But if you’re preparing to take on a bigger project, you might want to take an honest assessment of what you can accomplish or if you should hire a professional remodeler.

Poorly executed do-it-yourself projects can damage your home and, depending on the task, put your safety at risk. Before you dive into your next DIY project, consider the following.


Home projects can really add up if you avoid mapping out all the materials, tools and equipment needed to complete your project. If you’re not a home remodeling professional, chances are you won’t purchase everything you need the first time you go shopping.

A good rule of thumb is to budget for at least a 10% overage for project materials.


Adding a wall or a deck? You might need a permit to complete your project.

If you’re not sure, contact your local city hall. Not all permits are intended to drain your home remodeling budget or serve as a roadblock to building; in many cases, it’s to ensure the job is done correctly.

Avoiding this step can yield negative consequences such as being ordered by the city to stop work and paying hefty fines. Professional remodelers are knowledgeable about the permitting process.

Tools and equipment

If you’re a homeowner, you likely have at least one tool to manage small home repairs. New home projects might require specialized tools or equipment outside of your usual toolbox.

Specific tools can make the job easier and safer and help you avoid damaging your home. However, some specialized equipment can be costly for a single use.

Hardware stores often have tools available to rent. Just make sure you know how to use them to avoid injuring yourself or ruining your project.

Materials and measurements

One of the attractive parts of DIY projects is saving money on labor costs. Should you also save money on materials? The cheaper option when buying materials for your home might not always be the best one.

Installing or replacing materials with flimsy or ill-fitting items not measured correctly can cost more money in the long run. If you work with a professional remodeler, he or she will be able to recommend the most cost-effective materials to complete your project.

Completing a home project can be rewarding with the careful preparation or with the right contractor. To learn more about finding a qualified contractor for your home, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at hbagc.net.