21 Things Not to Say While DIYing

Updated: Jun. 05, 2024

DIY work doesn't always go according to plan, but these are some words you definitely don't want to hear during home improvement projects.

1 / 21
Family Handyman

Let’s save money and get the least expensive thing.

It’s one thing to stay on budget, but it’s another thing to buy inferior products. Like the old saying goes: You get what you pay for. We’ve heard countless tales of DIY home repair that has to be redone sooner than expected or even worse has to be hired out to fix. Check out how to remodel a bathroom on a budget the right way.

2 / 21
Family Handyman

Sure, that’ll fit in the car.

Gary Steinmetz was rushing to get done for the day, turned the corner and smashed his forehead into protruding lumber. His baseball cap visor blocked his view and: WHAM! After a trip to the emergency room and a half-dozen stitches, he was more careful about leaving boards sticking out at head level and decided to wear his baseball cap backward.

Make sure you follow proper safety tips for DIY work and see how to transport things in a truck the right way.

3 / 21
electrical work light bulb socket
The Family Handyman

I’m pretty sure the electricity is off.

Always make sure the electricity is off before doing any kind of electrical work. Use a non-contact voltage tester before touching any wires and avoid making common electrical mistakes. See how to make safe connections.

4 / 21
roof safety
The Family Handyman

I’ll just climb up on the roof and take a look.

We’ve heard plenty of ladder stories gone awry, like getting stranded on the roof after a ladder falls or hanging on to a gutter while help arrived. Do yourself a favor and use a roof harness while working on the roof or try a ladder stabilizer.

5 / 21
Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

This ladder looks level, right?

Ladder safety is an utmost concern when doing DIY work. More than 500,000 people a year are treated for ladder falls and more than 300 people die from ladder-related injuries, according to the Center for Disease Control.

6 / 21
The Family Handyman

I already measured that.

Any DIYer knows measure twice, cut once but even the most experienced DIYer will tempt fate by rushing through something, like a reader who installed a new surround around a shower base.

Try letting technology take some of the guesswork out with a digital angle gauge or by finding the best tape measure around.

7 / 21
painting a room
The Family Handyman

Let’s just buy one gallon of paint.

You wonder why people have old cans of paint in their garage, well it’s better to be fully prepared than partially prepared. Make sure you have enough paint for your next job and make it easy with some of the best tips from pro painters.

8 / 21
table saw
The Family Handyman

This safety guard is in my way.

That safety guard on a table saw and other saws is there for a reason. Your fingers will thank you in advance for using the guard properly.

Avoid injury when using a table saw by knowing the best way to rip cuts and see the best tips and techniques for using a circular saw.

9 / 21
Family Handyman

That’s tight enough.

There are a number of stories out there about wheels falling off vehicles because the lug nuts weren’t tight enough. Make sure you know how to change a tire properly to avoid any catastrophe on the road.

10 / 21
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

I’ll just wear my sandals.

Always make sure to wear proper shoes or boots when doing DIY work or even mowing the lawn.

Keep your shoes easy to grab with a shoe organizer

11 / 21
Charcoal fire

We might need to add a little more lighter fluid.

Lighter fluid ought not to be trifled with around an open flame or used for unusual purposes, like lighting a plastic toilet stuck in a toilet on fire.

12 / 21
The Family Handyman

How hard can it be?

It’s tempting to think you’ll work your way through a project even if you don’t know all of the steps from the get-go. But one mistake along the way can lead to a bigger cost. Learn the dos and don’t of a first-time tiling project or how enormous an undertaking can look.

13 / 21
label groups of fasteners in foam

I’ll remember where everything goes.

Any repair project or assembly task can get undone when a screw or a bolt remains after something is thought to be completed. Try labeling everything when you have a task like changing brake pads.

14 / 21

Can I get rid of this?

Decluttering for a DIYer is tough because something usually gets saved with a purpose in mind for its future use. Avoid any kind of trouble by posing the question but should you decide to get rid of some items, see how to do it. If you decide to keep some items, check out some creative projects made from repurposed material like old blinds used as a plant marker.

15 / 21
paint mistake
Family Handyman

I’ll just paint over it.

Painting mistakes are no fun. It’s already a laborious task and a small flick of the wrist the wrong way can ruin it. Avoid painting pains by seeing how to paint perfectly and how to paint more precisely.

16 / 21

It’s just a little over budget.

Nobody wants to hear something is coming in over budget but keep in mind any construction project typically budgets from cost over-runs. Just make sure you keep home improvement projects affordable.

17 / 21
FH09MAR_496_05_047 digging a hole for a fence post checking for rot
Family Handyman

I’m sure there are no buried lines or cables, so give me the shovel.

Always call 811 before you dig. You might think you know what lies below the ground but you must make sure before shoving a shovel into the ground. You never know what you could hit. Learn more about trouble-free tree planting.

18 / 21

I don’t own any safety glasses because I don’t need them.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. Make sure you have the proper eyewear on when you work.

Protect your safety glasses in the shop with this one tip.

19 / 21
The Family Handyman

Are you sure that’s going to fit through the door?

Anytime new furniture is purchased or a move is made, make sure to measure the dimensions of the piece of furniture to see if it will fit through the door. Check out a floor plan creator app.

20 / 21
toilet parts
The Family Handyman

I put the toilet back together. What are these extra parts for?

Reassemble a toilet without problem after learning parts of a toilet if you have a leaking toilet.

21 / 21
FH04JAU_NEPAIN_03 paint floor coverings
Family Handyman

I don’t need a dropcloth.

You might think you’re a precision painter but you never know what will come rumbling through a room while you’re painting. Ensure no mess on your floor or elsewhere with a dropcloth. Protect your home during remodeling and see why a paint touch-up pen can save a wall.