10 Bad DIY Habits You Need to Stop Doing Immediately

Updated: May 13, 2024

These bad DIY habits might be costing you more than just time and money.

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protective work gear hard hat safety glasses work boots
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Improper Safety Equipment Usage

Using proper safety equipment is important whether you’re making one cut or 100. Whether it’s eyewear, ear protection, gloves, shoes or something else, always make sure you’re taking the necessary safety measures.

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Home Improvement Spending
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Starting Projects and Not Finishing Them

Home improvement projects can add a lot of value to your home, but leaving work unfinished can undo a lot, if not all, of that effort. Finish driving those last screws or adding that touch-up paint before moving on to your next project.

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wire connector
Family Handyman

Taking on Too Complex of a Project

Finding the right contractor for your project isn’t always easy, but that doesn’t mean you should take it on yourself. If the project you’re considering exceeds your level of expertise, shop around for a few quotes. Don’t risk doing more damage trying to fix the initial issue.

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KILZ sponsored painting priming walls

Not Priming Before Painting

Choosing the right paint primer is sometimes just as important as choosing the right paint. Unless you’re using an all-in-one paint and primer, don’t skip the priming step. It will show.

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Repair Problem Spots and Prep Cabinets
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Replacing Something That Can Be Fixed

Doing easy home repairs instead of hiring out or buying a replacement part can pay big dividends. Before replacing kitchen cabinets or an old appliance, first see if there’s a way it can be fixed.

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Bad Paint Tools Gettyimages 1261197667
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Only Using One Coat of Paint

Some high-end paints only require one coat. But if you’re buying low-end or even average-grade paint, you likely will need multiple coats. Learn how to paint like a pro and pick up some great tips from professional painters.

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Protect Adjoining Surfaces
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Underestimating Project Expenses

Project budgets have a tendency to increase in a hurry. Whether you’re planning an extension or fixing up the house, enter the project with a comprehensive plan and build in a cost buffer for anything unexpected.

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Measure and Mark chair template
Family Handyman

Eyeballing Instead of Measuring

Measuring and marking can feel laborious, but it’s important. One bad measurement can throw off all the remaining cuts. So make sure you measure each time. And don’t cut corners.

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watch where you step wood with nails
Family Handyman

Using Cheap Materials or Equipment

Salvaging old materials can be a great way to cut down costs, but not at the expense of quality work. Wood scraps are perfect for fun, small projects. But unless they’re in great condition, avoid them for major repairs.

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really messy garage

Not Cleaning Up

Fight the urge to leave your tools and materials laying around at the end of the day, especially if you have children or pets. Always clean up and store your materials when you’re done, then bring them back out whenever you pick up the work.