Home Improvement DIY Regret

As much as I love DIY, there have been some DIY disasters that are legendary. 

Turns out I’m not the only one who has regretted these common DIY tasks. In fact some of them are resented by thousands, according to this study. Most of the time, people were trying to save money through DIY–they hoped to save at least 60% on the costs of hiring professional help. 

In a good majority of the cases, the DIY project either took longer than they thought, or was physically or technically harder than they thought it would be. And when asked how they were disappointed, they either didn’t like the way their job looked, didn’t like how it functioned, or were disappointed that their work didn’t hold up over time

In fact, 1 in 3 people had to call in a professional to redo their DIY regret. 

I sure relate to that!

So writing from my own experience and taking the study’s information into account, here are a few things you should be aware of before you attempt a DIY project.

Popular DIY Tries And What People Regret

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There’s a big list on their study, but I found the most popular ones to try among homeowners were ones I regretted. 

Painting your indoors was most popular (fine on my account, never had issues with that besides arm aches). Installing floor tiles and kitchen and bathroom fixtures were next down the list after adding vegetation to your yard. 

Now if you start small, I don’t think adding trees, flowers, or bushes to your yard is that hard. As long as you have an eye for what looks good. It’s doable. Interior painting is also very doable, which is probably why a lot of homeowners attempted DIY. 

However, I can personally tell you that installing floor tiles is a personal terror of mine. I can tell you how to do it, but telling and doing can be different, you see? It’s a DIY project I don’t do anymore.

When I read on down the study, I actually found out that the most regretted DIY home project was *drumroll*….

Installing floor tiles

Haha! I feel validated. 

After installing floor tiles the most regretted follows:

  1. Replace ceiling
  2. Refinish hardwood floors
  3. Install carpet
  4. Finish basement
  5. Install hardwood floors
  6. Refinish cabinets 
  7. Install sprinklers
  8. Install shower/bath
  9. Interior painting
  10. Installing roof 

You can get the rest of the list here, but you can kind of see a pattern. 

22%-40% of homeowners regretted DIY projects involving many things--from doors and windows to flooring (flooring being the 40%).

Before You Decide To DIY

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Research the project you want to do in depth. How hard is it to get good how-to sources? Are they reputable sources? What are your limitations? Are you afraid of heights? Do you refuse to operate a chainsaw? And what safety equipment do you need for the project?

How long does this job take a professional? Plan for it taking up to 10xs longer for you (depending on your skill levels, tools, etc.). Is it worth the money saved to spend that amount of time with your skill level?

Investigate warranties. Many manufacturers won’t cover their materials if it wasn’t installed by a professional. Is it worth losing a warranty? Are you completely sure you’re going to be able to perform the job as well as it needs to be done?

How much money will you save? Think about the time you’re spending, what materials you’ll have to buy, which tools you’ll need to purchase or borrow, and how sure you are you won’t have to call in a professional anyways.

Budget it out and expect obstacles. Do your best to budget and keep to that budget. And always plan for some hiccups to happen. It’s inevitable. 

So now that you’ve got some information and an idea of how to gauge a project, what do you think? What are some of your favorite DIY projects and which do you regret?


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