5 faux pas of diy

We all try to prepare before any DIY project, but the fact of the matter is, we're susceptible to certain pitfalls of enthusiasm. It's easy to get over-excited and ambitious, especially with all the tutorials, videos and kits that make knocking out that wall look so oh-so-simple! All I need is a large hammer!

But maybe before you jump into your next project, take some time to plan ahead. Although planning is not always the fun part, lack thereof can be a real challenge later on. Don't let these 5 faux pas cramp your style along the way:

Bob Vila, original host of "This Old House"
1) Ignoring reality - Being overly optimistic about your skills is definitely the number 1 damper for any DIY project. Remind yourself that you are not MacGyver, Ty Pennington or Bob Vila. :( You might not realize you're in over your head until it's way too late. Although you can't prepare for every surprise challenge along the way, try and take off your rose-colored-glasses beforehand. Consider your options, do you research and don't assume that YouTube videos will rescue you in the midst of your conundrum.

2) Unrealistic budget - I know that budgeting can be a big bummer when it comes to any home renovation project, but a budget that has been pulled from the deep and endless pit of denial is even worse. If you're getting into any project without the help of a professional, make sure you are aware of all the steps, supplies, materials and possibilities, being sure to allow for some wiggle room in your costs. Running out of money half-way through your DIY spree is not fun.

3) Lack of Tools - Sometimes it's hard to know exactly what tools you'll need until you realize you're missing it. If you're not sure you have all the proper gadgets, contact a family friend, dad or neighbor in advance to see if you might be able to borrow something. Don't try to rig up something because nobody wants to end up with a DIY project that looks like a DIY project. :)

4) Indecisiveness - Depending on what you're doing, this might not be that big of a deal. Some things can be easily changed or revisited later, but if you're tearing out walls or installing kitchen cabinetry, make sure that you spend some time creating an image of the end-product as best you can. Before you dig in, line up any swatches, take photos, make sketches and brainstorm your brain out. Sites like Pinterest or the DIY Network are extremely helpful for initial brainstorming, prep and idea organization, so take advantage of them if you're having trouble. It's normal to get freaked out in the midst of a difficult project or after the first roll of paint goes up the wall, but now is not the time second guess your overall vision. Take care of all the waffling early on.

5) Unrealistic Timeline - We're all pumped to get to that "after" phase, but rushing any good DIY project usually makes for a sloppy (and most likely drawn-out) end product. Set goals for your timeline and try to stick to it, but stay flexible. Be sure to allow time for eating and sleeping...and maybe some yoga.

Don't worry, I think we all have fallen into every single one of these traps. Luckily for me, they've only been minor set backs, but had I been more patient and prepared, the project execution would have been more smooth and efficient. This list will help me next time!



"When we put down ideas of what life should be like, we are free to wholeheartedly say yes to our life as it is." - Tara Brach