The popularity of do-it-yourself projects has been on the rise. Many homeowners are attempting projects that are typically outsourced to home improvement professionals. However, the data reveals that homeowners often regret taking the DIY route. In the past 3 years, at least 75 percent of homeowners have completed a DIY project—and of those, 40 percent wish they hadn’t. With well over a third of homeowners regretting their decision to DIY, the decision between hiring a professional and doing it yourself is one that clearly deserves careful consideration.
Before you plan your renovation projects, check out the five projects homeowners regretted tackling without the help of a home improvement professional.
Adding/Expanding a Room
Among the most regretted projects, adding or expanding a room ranked at the top of the list. Over 53 percent of the homeowners surveyed regretted handling a room expansion or addition on their own. This high percentage might be attributed to the fact that 42 percent of homeowners who added a room or expanded an existing one reported that they went over budget.
At some point during homeownership, most homeowners will either have to refinish their hardwood flooring due to wear and tear, or install new carpet or hardwood. Many homeowners attempt to cut costs by installing or refinishing their own flooring. However, more than 42 percent of homeowners who installed their own carpet or hardwood reported regret. A fifth of them also ended up going over budget—potentially negating their attempt to save on installation costs.
Kitchen & Bath Updates
Updates to the kitchen and bathroom, such as adding a new backsplash, refinishing cabinetry or installing countertops ranked among the most regretted DIY projects. Thirty-three percent of homeowners regretted installing their own countertops and over 41 percent regretted self-installing new cabinets. While less than 20 percent of these projects went over budget, the outcome of these high-impact updates likely did not meet the homeowner’s expectations or vision.
Retiling a Floor or Shower
While fewer homeowners regret retiling a floor or shower than installing hardwood, a whopping 37 percent still experienced DIY remorse. Compared to other home improvement projects, very few homeowners went over budget retiling—a mere 13 percent. This indicates that homeowner unhappiness was likely due to some other aspect of the project, possibly the time commitment or look.
Building/Installing a Deck
Of the most regretted DIY projects, building or installing a deck ranked at the bottom of the regrets list. However, one third of homeowners who attempted a deck installation still wished they hadn’t gone the DIY route. This lesser degree of regret might arise from the fact that only about 10 percent reported also going over budget. Plus, deck installations tend to be less disruptive than indoor renovations because they rarely restrict home access.
While a home improvement pro cannot guarantee the success of a project or ensure it stays within budget, outsourcing may be a compelling option for these five projects to avoid DIY remorse. Smaller tasks, such as painting a room or updating light fixtures, lend themselves to being DIY-friendly projects that few homeowners regret. But, for large-scale projects, it may be worth your time to find a professional and get a bid to compare against your DIY plan. With all the information in hand, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about how to pursue your next home renovation project.