Why DIY Jobs Look Shoddy (and Tips to Make Your Next DIY Project a Success)

By HomeAdvisor

Updated October 20, 2016

Shoddy pathway

The biggest mistake homeowners make when doing their own projects is often entering a project without the knowledge to complete it properly. DIY mistakes can generally be avoided by doing more research and getting a little practice before beginning the job. It’s not that homeowners shouldn’t attempt their own projects, but they often underestimate the knowledge and skill required to get professional results. If that happens, they could end up spending more money to hire a professional to fix their mistakes.

Tips for Installing Drywall

Mud issues topped the list for common DIY drywall mistakes. Drywall “no-no’s” include using fiberglass tape and not using quick-set or all-purpose mud when taping joints or getting enough mud behind the tape to eliminate blisters. Also using too small of a knife can cause problems, as a 10-inch knife is recommended when filing and filling drywall.

Landscaping Tips for DIYs

Some of the biggest mistakes in landscaping involve DIY weed control and fertilizing. Some over-fertilize or not overlap patterns correctly. Pruning trees at the wrong time of year is another common problem and leaves apple or pear trees literally fruitless in the fall.

DIY Painting Tips

Painting is also one of the most frequently fraught with mistakes. Since most do-it-yourselfers are painting in their spare time, they tend to hurry. Speeding through this type of project can lead to many problems like drips, inadequate coverage and a job that looks shoddy. In addition to having the proper tools, homeowners doing their own interiors also tend to get less than professional results because they try to paint around the elements of a room instead of moving them out of the way.

The Bottom Line

The fact is, professionals have the time, materials, equipment and experience to do a job quickly and effectively. Homeowners doing their own projects begin at a disadvantage because they are often lacking in one or more of these areas. DIY jobs are often set back even more because homeowners do not account for this disparity and expect their projects to be completed quickly. This leads to cutting corners, which leads to less than professional results. If you are planning a DIY project, it is in your best interests to take your time and be realistic about your goals. You might not be as fast as the pros, but with the proper planning and the right preparation, you can produce great results, too!

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