Five Things You Need to Know Before DIY-ing a Home Improvement Project

It’s no secret that Grass Valley residents love to make things in their home their own. Whether it be custom making a dining room table or revamping purchases from a local second hand store, many people in the Nevada County area like to take the time to make their home customized to their tastes. With all that DIY-ing, residents know one secret that you might not know-DIY is hard. No matter the scale of the project, it takes time to get everything done right. A member of Coldwell Banker corporate found this out when he started to renovate his home. He shared some of his tips for first time DIY-ers. Take a look!

1. Don’t believe everything you see on TV.

Who doesn’t love a great TV show where they take a house that’s in shambles and turn it into a masterpiece? Now don’t get me wrong — I am NOT saying this can’t be done. But for the average person, what you see on TV cannot be done in the amount of time that they claim; there is a lot going on behind the scenes that you aren’t being shown. You don’t see the 30-person team that works around the clock. You’re probably an average Joe like me, who is working at night after their regular day job and on the weekends. It is 100 percent OK that it takes you a bit longer to put in a brand new kitchen or to finish that bathroom. Why, you ask? Because there is no better feeling than when someone walks into your home and says, “I love that!” and you get to respond with, “Thanks, I built it myself!”

2. Time… Never Enough Time.

We all know the phrase, “there is not enough time in a day.” For me this could not be more true. There’s nothing worse than when you’re feeling like the most productive person alive, dedicated to the task, nothing can stop you… to then pick up that to-do list and realize NOTHING you just did was on there. Why? Because you didn’t plan for all of the other things that needed to be done before you could do what you actually set out to do. Then of course, there’s Murphy’s Law, which almost always plays a part when it comes to home renovation or a DIY project. Trust me when I say this, it has caught me a couple times. Most recently was when I told my wife that we could demo the bathroom in 3 hours. Let’s just say, I was REALLY wrong and she was a little upset. At some point there is a chance that something is going to go wrong and when it does, it can crush your timeline (along with your plans for the rest of the day). So when planning your next project, do yourself a favor: add in some extra time. This way, when something goes wrong, you can fix it, finish that project and still have time to take your wife out to dinner.

3. Tools, I Love Tools.

Ever wonder why Home Depot, Lowes, and Sears have so many tools?   I can tell you why. It’s because they literally make a tool for every job.  All my life my dad has been telling me to “work smarter and not harder.”  As I have gotten older, you know what this means? It means my wife hates going to these stores because there is always a new tool that I want to buy.  I love tools more than Tim Allen in Home Improvement.  I know that I am going to come across a job and need a specific tool in order to complete it. When you don’t have it, it can take forever to get that one extremely simple part of the project completed, just because you don’t have the tool you need.  If you are going to be doing a decent amount of work or DIY projects on your home, I suggest you invest in those tools you will need. These include, but are not limited to, a hammer, drill, level etc. If you are as lucky as I am, you can “borrow” (and by borrow I mean steal) more expensive tools like a miter saw or a table saw from your dad (thanks, Dad).

4. Know your skills.

Whether you are doing your first project in your new home, or you’ve been moving walls, plumbing and electrical for years like I have, you need to know your skill set.  Don’t take on a project because “they did it on TV.” Make sure you at least have a decent idea of what you want to accomplish and the steps that you would need to take to get it done. The last thing you want to do is take on a huge project, like trying to remove a load bearing wall, to realize that there is plumbing and electrical behind the sheet rock that have no idea what to do with. Knowing your limitation can be the difference between taking on a project and enjoying the process and overall outcome, versus, taking on a project that ends in aggravation and large bills to make up for your lack of experience.  On the flip side, don’t be afraid to take on a project like tiling your backsplash just because you have never tiled before. You may be surprised at the skills that you have acquired and carried over from doing other projects. And always remember: measure twice, cut once.

5. Help!

After growing up doing home DIY projects my entire life (proof is below), I have learned a lot. The most important thing to know is that asking for help is the best thing you can do. Whether you need an extra set of hands or you need a second opinion…JUST ASK. It took me a while to learn this but has paid off dividends ever since. Just ask my wife, who has helped demo and has removed all the wall paper in the our home, or my best friend, who has help me lift a 300 pound beam into place, or most of all, my dad, who has answered my countless phone calls; not being afraid to ask for help has assisted in the completion of all my home DIY projects.

So what did we learn? That DIY and renovating are hard, regardless if you are doing it on your own or have a team full of people behind you. Unexpected expenses come up, things go wrong, and the project seems never ending. Fortunately, the project will be done. It might not be done on time, but it will help you gain experience and be able to brag about what you accomplished.

Looking for DIY ideas? Head over to our Pinterest page!

Looking to buy or sell in the Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, or Auburn area? Give a Coldwell Banker agent a call today!

About the Author:

Coldwell Banker Grass Roots Realty specialize in Nevada County real estate. Search homes for sale in Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, Lake Wildwood, Auburn and Lake of the Pines CA. Search land, commercial properties for sale and lease. Browse our experienced Realtors, sales associates, agents. Our agents are Full Time, Full Service Realtors ready to help you. We provide up to date information about our local community, as well as information about the current real estate market. Our website is updated daily. We are dedicated to helping you find your home. Contact us today!