The Riskiest DIY Projects

There’s perhaps nothing more satisfying than setting your sights on a home improvement project and then finishing that project. You stayed on budget, you stayed on your timeline, and you didn’t even have to make any extra trips to the home improvement store. Only… that reality exists in a dream state. It never really works out that way. What follows are the riskiest home renovations to attempt yourself and what you’ll be out if it fails.

Installing Floors

Time added correcting a mistake: 13.8 hours
Additional cost for correcting a mistake: $829

While the physical installation of the floor may be simple enough, the errors are some of the most costly and timeliest to fix. If the space hasn’t been prepped correctly, the floors could be uneven or not level. Even miscalculating on the cut of a board adds up. As they say: measure twice, cut once. It could save you time and money in the long run.

Exterior Paint

Time added correcting a mistake: 1.1 hours
Additional cost for correcting a mistake: $447

While it might seem that you don’t lose a lot of time correcting an exterior paint problem, it certainly can be a costly mistake. Problems arise when the space hasn’t been properly prepared. (Are we sensing a theme here?) Homeowners must prepare their siding or exterior to be painted. This involves powerwashing and/or cleaning to remove dirt, dust, and debris. Repair cracks, replace rotted wood, and prime the surface for optimal results. If you don’t take these steps, you’ll be repainting again within the month.


Time added correcting a mistake: 3.0 hours
Additional cost for correcting a mistake: $58

Perhaps one of the more time-intensive projects, laying tile is a precise chore. Do it wrong and your sightline goes awry or the spacing gets messed up or, even worse, the finished product cracks. Typical tiling mistakes are using the wrong adhesive, improper grouting technique, or, simply not getting enough tile in the first place. When planning your project, budget for purchasing at least 25% more tile than you think you’ll need. Remember, some may break along the way and you need to have extra for cutting. Research the type of setting component and grout you want to use because getting the wrong kind can add hours to your project.

Thanks to Porch.com and their survey of 1,000 people. The study identified the projects in which most people attempt and fail, as well as the time and money taken to correct the problem.

Unsure if you can handle a project on your own? Trust the pros and call the contractor yourself. That still counts as DIY, right?

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