5 DIY Mistakes to Avoid

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Most people like to save costs when ever it is possible.  However there are certain things that you just simply shouldn’t have your brother in-law do for you.  Sometimes that help can cause more problems and money than what you had originally thought.  Everybody likes to do some of the work themselves, and that’s OK.  But you should really contact a professional before you starts so that they can give you the do’s and the don’ts and coordinate the more difficult portions of your remodel.

1.  Flooring Flop – One of the most difficult things about tiling your floor is getting the mud base correct.  Believe it or not there is a pretty precise formula to getting a correct base mixture.  The base is the product that secures the tile sections to your sub floor…  Too much water and the tile doesn’t secure correctly causing it to shift creating micro-fractures in your mortar allowing water to seep down without you knowing causing rot and mold damage.  Not enough water and the tile doesn’t adhere to the base and the tile will lift up after time and/or with weight. The thickness of subfloor and underlayment is very important.  Make sure to follow the manufactures recommendations.

2.  Toilet Torture – Before you pick out the next new age toilet talk to a contractor.  Consider if the toilet will fit in your space, how it will match the existing designs, and most importantly how are you going to install it.  Sometimes in DIY you miss the very simple and inexpensive things.  For example a simple $2 wax ring to couple your toilet to the floor drain is a very easy thing to overlook.  However it is a very expensive thing to clean up after.  Where your toilet meets your floor drain is usually under your existing floor, so you could be leaking large amounts of water in to your floor, and the ceiling below for days even weeks without even knowing it.  Once you do, you are going to have a very expensive cleanup, and repair.

3.  Cabinet Crisis – I’m sure you’ve thought once or twice before, and some of you maybe have tried it, that painting you kitchen cabinets would be a great and inexpensive way to revitalize your kitchen.  However that said many wood cabinets use and ash or oak material.  If you paint over and ash or oak cabinet the natural wood grain will penetrate through your paint and it may look bad.  Ask a contractor what kind of cabinets you have and what are alternative options to lower your cabinetry cost.

4.  Wall Whammy!! – You really long for that open space concept that so many people are talking about and have today.  How hard can it be to remove a 5 foot wall and open that space up.  A saw, hammer, and some drywall should take care of it, right?  What if that wall is a load bearing wall, removing that will affect the structural integrity of your home.  That’s not to say that you can’t remove a load bearing wall ever, there are many ways to achieve that look, however you should have a licensed contractor do it.  There is a very in depth process to remove internal load bearing walls, many times it will require and engineers stamp on the plans to get permit approval.

5.  Piping Problems – Many people thing that demo is the easiest part of the project.  Sometimes it can be, who hasn’t dreamed of taking a sledge hammer to their vanity, sink, or wall.  However, before you do that check the following things, make sure that the water is shut off properly, is there any venting in the wall, if so how are you going to replace it, whether the wall is going to be gone for good, how are you going to re-route your vents, that the drain pipe you are removing isn’t the main stack for the entire house.  Again, please call a contractor to double check all of these things before you start.  None of these things are terribly hard or that expensive to do, until you make your first mistake and once that happens there is no going back.

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