Whether you’re tackling a DIY project for the first time or are a seasoned home improvement veteran, learning to identify and avoid mistakes will make any project you take on go a lot smoother and safer.

Read on to find out the five most common mistakes DIYers make, and how to keep them from spoiling your next home improvement project.

Gutted kitchen

DIY Mistake #1: Biting Off More than You Can Chew

At one time or another, every DIYer has started a job with too much enthusiasm and visions of the finished project dancing in their head. It’s easy to underestimate the size of the task in front of you and start a project that requires more time or skill than you can handle.

How To Avoid This Mistake – Start small, don’t try to plaster the walls of an entire room if you’ve never patched a hole in a wall. Don’t try to wire a new plug if you’ve never even replaced a fuse before.

Measuring board

DIY Mistake #2: Getting Measurements Wrong

Not measuring accurately is a sure recipe for disaster, and it often results in a whole project ruined and a lot of frustration. The worst thing about this mistake is that it’s so easily avoided.

How To Avoid This Mistake – Start by making sure all your measuring equipment is 100% accurate, otherwise you could unknowingly make a mistake. Then make sure you measure, re-measure, and then measure again. Whenever possible, hold the work in position and mark the piece directly, rather than relying on a transferred measurement.

Tools in tool belt

DIY Mistake #3: Using the Wrong Tools

If you’ve ever tried to make do in a DIY project with a tool that’s not designed for the job at hand, you know how important having the right tools can be. Every project has certain tools that make the job go smoother and safer, and some jobs require specialty tools to complete.

Using incorrect tools is not only a sure way to ruin a project, but it also can be dangerous, since you might use excessive force or do something that causes further problems in the long term.

How To Avoid This Mistake – Always use the right tool for the job! If you can’t afford to buy the needed tools, rent them at a tool rental center or borrow tools from a friend or family member.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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