Avoiding a do it yourself disaster

The remodeling industry has shown solid growth for the past two years and there’s no sign it’s letting up. Experts say some 43 million homeowners a year attempt a do it yourself project, and an estimated one in five suffers an injury. There are many ways to avoid a D.I.Y. disaster.

Homeowner Sarah Saucedo fell in love with the look of black–painted interior doors after seeing pictures online.

“I love D.I.Y. I love projects,” said Saucedo, “and I thought this one would be really simple. I mean, I’ve painted doors before. I use spray paint all the time and this was going to be really simple, you know, maybe an hour long project, if that, and it turned into a huge mess.”

Saucedo had removed the grid on the door and took it to the garage for priming, but when she returned, she found her glass atrium door shattered in a million pieces on her back patio.

“All of us will attempt D.I.Y. projects at some point in our life,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks said. “Let’s face it, it’s fun. It’s your house, you enjoy doing things to make it a better place, but you need to know whether you are getting yourself in over your head. If it’s a project you’ve never tackled, you might consider consulting with a professional. People don’t realize that the pros, a lot of times, will offer some advice. They might charge you for an hour of consultation which might save you a lot of headaches.”

Homeowner Jonathan Metzger called in a pro for help with his bathroom remodel when he realized the project was more than he could handle.

“When you get into a project like that it seems a bit daunting to begin with, but then you start the demo and you take the walls down and you take out a cast iron tub and see all the inner workings, and that’s where you start to see the complexity,” said Metzger.

“I think the reason D.I.Y. is still so popular is because there is so much media attention,” added Hicks. “There’s television shows, magazines, websites. All show how projects can be done, but sometimes consumers get themselves in over their head.”

When it comes to D.I.Y. repairs, Angie’s List says that you should not settle for temporary fixes. Skipping steps or forcing things together may provide temporary solutions to short–term problems, but they often don’t last.