With property prices and the cost of living increasing in Australia, a growing number of homeowners are choosing to embark on home improvement projects themselves to save money and improve the value of their homes. In 2018, around two-thirds of Australian homeowners carried out DIY projects around the home with varying levels of success, and the rise in popularity of home improvement shows has definitely encouraged individuals to tackle these projects themselves!
Having a wealth of information at our fingertips can be both a good and bad thing, and plenty of DIY projects face challenges simply because homeowners don’t have the required knowledge to accomplish these projects effectively. Simple errors can be very expensive and it’s pivotal that homeowners get the job done right the first time. In most cases, employing a contractor to carry out complicated work is essential so to help guide you in the right direction, today we’ll be covering our top 6 errors to avoid when performing home improvement projects.
Exceeding your budget
One of the most common mistakes that homeowners make is exceeding their budget and sometimes running out of money before their project is complete. As a rough estimate, you should budget for at least 20% more than your estimated costs to account for extra materials, labour, and unforeseen circumstances which require immediate attention. In many cases, people uncover issues with their plumbing or electrical system which must be fixed before they cause even more expensive damages in the future.
Changing plans mid-project
Whether you’re renovating your kitchen or bathroom, it’s vital that you plan thoroughly and stick to these plans regardless of whether you think you can make further improvements along the way. Everyone who performs DIY projects is tempted to add extra items or change their design slightly, however these changes not only increase their costs but also extend their time-frame. While they may sound like an excellent idea at the time, it’s important to be vigilant and remember that it’s just the contagious bug that is home improvement!
Compromising safety for a cheaper result
Whenever undertaking DIY projects around the home, safety must always be the leading priority. In many cases, using an old ladder is too unstable and risky and it’s highly recommended to hire mobile scaffolding for a week or two to ensure you can complete your project safely and productively. Unfortunately, there are too many accidents when working from heights and if you’re not proficient in using power tools, working with electrical systems, or negotiating other technical aspects around the house, it’s strongly encouraged to outsource these tasks to a qualified contractor.
Accepting the cheapest quote
When choosing materials or contractors, never choose the cheapest option because the price is typically a reflection of the quality. Always interview multiple contractors and clearly communicate your requirements so they understand exactly what needs to be done. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about materials, the layout, or the construction process and always check the terms and conditions along with references from previous clients. Spending a little extra time researching usually makes your project smoother and more successful.
Similar to exceeding your budget, many homeowners underestimate the time it takes to complete their DIY projects. What may seem like a weekend job can easily be delayed for a multitude of reasons so it’s vital that you’re flexible with your time-frame. While we always hope everything goes to plan, unfortunately it rarely does and budgets can be inflated very quickly! Plan thoroughly, be flexible, and always account for roadblocks!
Ignoring structural issues
While most projects involve cosmetic changes, it’s equally important to ensure that all structural elements are sound before you start. With older homes that haven’t undergone any changes in years, many times there are issues with pipes, wiring, or framing (they things you don’t see) which are unexpected costs that require repairs. It’s important that you check the structural elements of your home before planning any improvement projects and if needed, make the repairs instead of ignoring them!
Home improvement projects require plenty of planning and preparation to ensure they run smoothly and efficiently. Always ensure that you have the appropriate council approvals and licenses before you begin, and never compromise safety. If you’re not completely confident in any aspects of your home improvement project, always hire a qualified contractor.
DIY projects are fun and rewarding, however it’s important that you get the job done right the first time. If you need any scaffolding or formwork to assist you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Uni-Span by phoning 1300 882 825.