10 DIY Home Improvement Disasters

The do it yourself home renovation option is a great way to fill in your spare time, feel good about doing something around the home, and of course it can save you hundreds if not thousands on contractor bills. But how about when something goes wrong, and what happens when you try and tackle something that’s a too far outside of your skill set?

We take a look at 10 DIY disasters that could turn your dream DIY project in to a decision you end up regretting.

  1. You might find some of the disasters on our list amusing, but electric shocks are no laughing matter. It’s more common than many think for an inexperienced DIY’er to go through an electrical main with a saw or drill, or even try to wire something wrong and end up with a nasty and potentially life threatening shock. Even if you ignore all of the other disasters in this list, electrical safety is one area where you need to take extreme caution.
  2. Broken glass is a common DIY disaster, especially when mounting doors, windows, or moving large appliances or materials through the home. Take care of your surroundings, and get someone to help in risky situations.
  3. Breaking a water pipe is a sure way to get your house flooded before you have half a minute to realize what just happened. Whenever you’re drilling through your walls, get the plans to your home first. If you can’t get them then use simple logic: don’t drill within a foot of the floor level, and stay far away from tap fitments and plumbing.
  4. Common accidents like falling from a ladder can cause serious injury. Professionals undergo strict safety training, but you probably haven’t. Use a home step ladder when you’re on your own, or seek assistance when you’re working at height or in awkward positions that could be dangerous.
  5. Read the instructions on flat pack furniture. All of those items from IKEA look simple to build, but if you go in ‘gung ho’ and mess it up, you’re going to end up with a collapsed piece of furniture later.
  6. Don’t take on too many projects at one time. Stick to a single project where you can invest your full efforts. Taking on multiple projects usually means you will be overwhelmed, leading to a home full of half-finished projects.
  7. DIY is not just about saving money. Yes DIY can save you money on labor from professionals, but that’s not the only consideration. Aiming to do everything for the lowest cost possible is a recipe for disaster. Quality and workmanship should come first.
  8. Some DIY’ers have imagined that it’s fairly simple to erect a fence, only to find that there’s actually a significant level of engineering involved. Making a fence stand up, ensuring it has a strong foundation, and even making sure it’s level and straight could be difficult for the inexperienced. Avoid disaster by doing your research, or enlisting the help of a professional.
  9. Don’t ever remove a wall without consulting a professional! Few homeowners would know how to look at a wall and determine if it’s load bearing or not. Knocking down a structural wall could compromise your entire home, not to mention the safety of your family. Don’t even think about this DIY project without at least having a professional inspect your premises.
  10. Don’t rush. Take time with everything you do to make sure it’s done right. Rushing something as simple as mixing drywall compound could mean a horribly uneven and ugly wall repair. Avoid disaster by being patient.

DIY should be about the experience and the control that it gives you over a job done by someone else. Any savings are secondary. Be patient, logical, and know your limitations. It never hurts to get a professional consultation before starting DIY work. At least you will know if you’re up to the task, or if you’re the next DIY disaster victim waiting to happen.