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7 DIY Projects Homeowners Regret Doing the Most

7 DIY Projects Homeowners Regret Doing the Most

We’re all for challenging ourselves and taking on a home project without professional help. But sometimes, help is necessary. If done improperly, your DIY project could be putting your time, money, and even safety at risk.

A recent study from Improve Net asked 2,000 homeowners about DIY home improvement projects that didn’t go quite as planned. Of those polled, 63% said they regretted doing a project and 33% had to hire a professional to fix their work. Below are the top 7 DIY home projects homeowners say they regret doing. See what went wrong for and what you can do to avoid their mistakes.

7. Refinish Cabinetry

If you think refinishing your cabinetry is as simple as painting a wall, think again. In fact, don’t even pick up a paintbrush unless you’re committed to spending several weeks on the project and have a ventilated workspace in your home. Instead, find a service where you can send your cabinet boxes to be refinished, and sleep easy knowing they’re in good hands.

6. Install Hardwood Floors

Homeowners regretted installing hardwood floors due to the way their floors looked in the end. The best way to get a look you love is to be reasonable with your installation plans. If you have no experience in home improvement, hire a professional. If you have some experience, consider laminate wood flooring instead. Only advanced DIYers should tackle installing real hardwood floors.

5. Finish Basement

Finishing a basement is not a weekend project. You might have to lay carpet (see: regret #4), install drywall, wire new electrical fixtures, or work with plumbing. With so much on your hands, leave it to the pros to tackle the big work. Then, you’ll be able to focus on more manageable projects like painting the walls and installing built-in storage units.

4. Install Carpet

Many of the homeowners who said they regretted installing their own carpet claimed lack of durability as the culprit. Not only is it a lot of measuring, cutting, gluing, and trimming, but if it’s not done right, it’s a mistake you’ll have to live with every day. If you’re still up for the challenge and have some willing partners to help, check out our tips.

3. Refinish Hardwood Floors

According to the study, 40% of people who take on flooring projects end up with regrets. While the study didn’t specify why homeowners regretted refinishing their hardwood floors, we’re betting it’s because their floors were engineered wood. The experts at Lowe’s recommend only refinishing your own hardwood floor if the planks are 3/4-inch thick and solid. Anything smaller or layered, such as engineered wood, should be left for the pros.

2. Replace a Ceiling

As you might expect, there’s a lot that goes into replacing your ceiling. You first need to clear out any insulation, remove drywall, potentially add joists, and then fasten the new drywall or panel—all while working on a ladder. Save yourself the struggle and call in a professional for this home improvement project. According to the study, those who choose to replace a ceiling on their own actually caused more damage than improvement.

1. Install Floor Tiles

Installing floor tiles is the number one home project that homeowners regretted doing themselves, according to the study. While there are many reasons why installing floor tiles can be a headache, many agreed that they were disappointed with the results because it didn’t hold up over time. If you want an easier approach with lasting results, consider laying floating floors in your kitchen, living room, or basement. This DIY solution doesn’t involve messy grout, is cost-effective, and can be done in a weekend.


Hannah Bruneman
Better Homes & Gardens 

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