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Home Renovation Mistakes You Never Want to Make

Sept. 3, 2019
5 mins
A couple paints the bedroom walls of their new apartment blue

That big weekend project. Your HGTV remodelling idea. You’ve purchased all the supplies and the TV shows or online tutorials make it all look so easy. There are all kinds of fun home renovation projects that you can start. Not only can they add value to your home and increase your “curb appeal” but they can make your home more enjoyable. But, when it comes to home DIY projects and fixer-upper ideas, the wrong project can cost you thousands of dollars in emergency repairs.

Let’s take a look at a few home renovation projects and DIY mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

Adding a New Bathroom

One out of every four remodelling projects can increase your home's value by up to 25 percent. But a DIY home improvement project can also bring your home's value down if it leads to faulty plumbing. Bathroom DIY projects look simple enough in the videos, but they can sometimes cause unforeseen problems.

What types of problems can occur?

  • A DIY remodel might not pass inspection when you’re ready to resell your property.
  • If the water from the shower and sinks isn’t draining properly, it can lead to mold and mildew issues.
  • The person doing the remodelling could be injured. They may not have on protective footwear, masks, eye goggles or protective gloves. Some of the chemicals in bathroom tub epoxies, for example, are highly toxic.
  • If you fail to check with your home insurance provider, they might deny a claim for damages. Your home insurer needs to know about all major additions and changes you make to the home as these can change the value of the property.

To resolve this, check with a contractor about your project first. That can help to prevent any mistakes. Request a free in-home estimate or consultation. You might find that the quote is low enough you let the pros handle it.

Painting Your Home’s Interior or Exterior

Picture it. You paint your home’s interior and/or exterior. You’re seeing all the money you save by purchasing the supplies yourself. And, what could go wrong? Actually, quite a lot.

Problems with painting your homes interior and exterior include:

  • A bad paint job might lower the offers you receive at resale.
  • You could end up with paint on appliances, countertops, adjacent walls and floors. You might then need chemicals to remove the paint which could affect the surface area. Discolouring your countertop or another area can be unsightly and again, it can affect your home’s value if you plan on reselling it.
  • Perception is everything to potential buyers. If they see two-tones or paint that’s uneven, they might look elsewhere for their next home.
  • You could injure yourself using a step ladder. People don’t realize how much physical labour goes into painting especially with ceilings. You’re also breathing in paint fumes and if you have a breathing condition, this could exacerbate it.

To avoid a painting fiasco, contact a professional painter. You might spend a little more, but the crispness of a professional project can make your home feel welcoming. You also won’t have to explain why there are painted shoe prints on the floor to visitors.

Home Projects You’re Passionate About

That new mosaic tile fireplace. Installing kitchen cabinets yourself. The deck you want to build or remodel yourself. Sometimes a project can take longer than you had anticipated, or you can make mistakes that can lead to a slope/angle in the finished project. One man in Vancouver did this when he was remodelling a deck himself. He didn’t realize it was sitting at an angle until it started raining and he noticed water would only drain from one side. Another homeowner built a deck that blocked the crawlspace and water spigot.

While you had the best intentions, you might find that work and other obligations take you away from completing your task. You’re then left with an unfinished area that isn’t only unsightly, but it can bring your home’s value down.

Before embarking on a large project, get an in-home estimate. Ask what the time frame is for a project of that size. Then consider hiring a pro who can give you a more professional look. If you’ve already started a project that has been sitting for a long period, check with a contractor about finishing it. And, be sure to let your home insurance provider know about any changes you make to the home.

Adding a New Washer and/or Dryer

Anytime you start work yourself that has to do with plumbing, you’re taking a risk. DIY shows and tutorials make it look easy but if you don’t have experience with plumbing, leave it to the experts. There have been all kinds of nightmares about flooded laundry rooms and subsequent costly repairs. Even a small flood can lead to water damage, rotting floors and mold or mildew if you’re not careful. Always consult an expert plumber and shop around for discounts. The added savings can help you sleep better, especially if your dishwasher doesn’t stop every time the rinse cycle is on!

Changing Roof Shingles or Making Roof Repairs

You might think you’re saving money with your own roof repairs but cutting corners can cost you. Homeowners have injured themselves falling off their roof. You might also make a small problem like a leak worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you make a repair yourself that causes more damage the next time it rains or snows, your home insurance has the right to decline your claim if a professional didn’t do the project. To avoid this, read your home insurance terms and conditions and review the exclusions. You wouldn’t want to void your policy in any way.

Stay Safe with DIY Projects and Repairs by Trusting the Professionals

A DIY project always looks like a good idea on TV or online in tutorials. The problem is if you make a mistake it could cause damage. You might also void your home insurance policy or cause any subsequent claims to be denied. To ensure you have the best quality work, hire the professionals and shop around online for discounts. That way you have high-quality work and added savings. To shop for home insurance, check with RATESDOTCA.


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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