Have you ever set out to do some home repair, maintenance, or project and you have one of the oops moments when you did something that created more work? It happens all the time, and the huge Big Box home retailers earn millions of dollars when homeowners make mistakes on one project that causes another project.
The number one reason why one project will lead to another project is that the homeowner is doing the first project in what I call “the blind”. Maybe, you started the project and you did not understand the product being used or the complete scope of the project? Or it could be you didn’t take the time to plan your project out completely. Most of the time, however, you get so focused on doing one project you forget the damage consequences of the pieces and parts associated to the project you are trying to complete.
In the yard for example, more sprinklers are busted when people get overzealous with lawnmowers, edgers, and trimmers. If you have someone cut your grass and they do not understand your sprinkler system, they can destroy a lot of sprinkler heads. Lawn edgers are notorious for busting plumbing and sprinkler lines as wells as chewing up cable lines. Plus, a landscaper with a heavy shovel can wreck drip lines, and inexperienced person with hedgers can cut hoses and bust hose bibbs.
Inside, the worst offender of extra works is an inexperienced person with a nail and hammer trying to hang pictures or décor. Driving a nail in a sheetrock wall is easy, but punching a water or electrical line can create a flood of problems or spark other real dangerous issues. If you are driving or drilling in a wall, take it easy and slow so that you are not damaging vital home infrastructure behind the wall. When hanging curtains, be careful because you are probably drilling into a header that can be steel or concrete in Central Florida and that can be challenging and create huge holes in the drywall.
Amateur painters are another problem in most home projects because their total focus is just slapping paint onto a surface, but failure to prepare the surface and buying the correct paint can lead to a gooey mess. Prepping high gloss surfaces by cleaning and lightly sanding will make for a much better job if the correct paint is used. Additionally, if the homeowner does not take time to properly cover floors and tape edges, flooring can be ruined, and the paint project will expand to other areas. How many times after a painting mistake did you hear, “well, I really need to replace that floor or paint that other wall anyway?”
Many homeowners also think plumbing is easy and they will tackle many projects they had no business starting. For example, a leaky wax ring below a toilet is an easy project for an experienced plumber, but for someone with no experience if you bust the toilet or strip out a supply line, then you have major expenses. Replacing a faucet is easy if you have the correct tools to properly unhook line and fix drains, but would you have been better off hiring a plumber instead of buying these tools you will only use one time.
One of the most failed homeowner projects is the installation of a ceiling fan. Many homeowners think they can install a fan because their neighbor installs all of theirs. The problem comes in anchoring the boxes correctly to a support in the ceiling. There is a good chance if you just install a ceiling fan in a regular light box and you fail to properly anchor the box, after a little time of spinning, that fan will collapse to the ground destroying the fan, damaging wiring, and the ceiling in the process. It is imperative that boxes be properly anchored to hold a heavy ceiling fan that will be continuously gyrating.
Unless you have the proper tools, knowhow, and physical ability to do any do-it-yourselfer home project, there is a good chance you will be doing other unexpected work because of damage. Many times, the homeowner would have saved money by hiring a professional instead of taking a quick YouTube tutorial on installation.
Before you start any home project, know what you are doing and know what this project might affect in the rest of your home. Take time to think it through, is the best advice.
Don Magruder is the CEO of Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply, Inc., and he is also the host of the “Around the House” Show which can be seen at AroundtheHouse.TV.