5 Tips for Planning a DIY Project

With any DIY project it pays to be prepared – especially if you are planning your first DIY project. Here are 5 tips to help you with planning a DIY project to help ensure that it goes smoothly and comes out looking great.

1. Pick a Project, but be Realistic

It is great to have large ambitions, but if this is your first DIY project you want to be realistic about what you can accomplish. Rather than starting out with a major kitchen remodel (which can overwhelm even the most savvy do-it-yourselfer) start with something smaller and work your way up. After you have completed a few small projects then you can move on to bigger projects with more confidence in your abilities.

2. Know When and Where to Get Help

Jumping into a DIY project without knowing if you might need help or where to get it if you do can be a recipe for failure. There are a number of aids available from DIYers ranging from books and videos to hiring a professional to come in and work with you for a few hours and show you the ropes. When working with electrical or plumbing it is always a good idea to hire someone to do the work for you unless you are very confident about what you are doing.

3. Get All Your Materials Ahead of Time

Don’t let yourself get partway through a project and run out of materials. Write down a list of everything you need including small detail items like nails or screws and purchase everything ahead of time. For items like paint or tile there are a variety of different calculators and tools online that can help you estimate how much you need to buy. There is nothing more frustrating that running out of something partway through a project and then finding out that the product has gone out of stock and you can’t get enough to complete the project.

4. Make a Budget and Stick With it

When you start shopping for your DIY project you may find yourself tempted by more expensive materials than you can afford. Before you go shopping make a budget of what you can realistically afford and stick to it to avoid getting in over your head.

5. Make a Time Table and Finish the Project

One of the hardest parts about DIY projects is actually completing them. It can be tempting to stop halfway through thinking you will get around to finishing it and then find yourself looking at the same unfinished project 2 years later. Instead, create a solid timeline for when you will have the work completed and stick to it. The sooner you finish it the sooner you will get to enjoy your new home improvement so be sure to use that to motivate yourself if you don’t feel like working on it.

Finally, expect that some things will go wrong – especially if it is your first DIY project. Everyone makes mistakes and you shouldn’t feel bad about them, but instead should learn from them so you can do a better job on your next DIY project.

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