19 Common DIY Mistakes That Decrease Your Home’s Value

Written By Babatunde Sanni

DIY projects can help you save tremendously on repairs, renovations, and upgrades in your home. However, they may also cause its value to drop, especially when not done right. Today, we share 19 of the most common home improvement mistakes DIY enthusiasts make.

Incorrect Paint Colors

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Using the wrong paint color in the wrong space can hurt your home’s value, and it’s all just down to psychology. According to The Spruce, some of the worst colors you can use are yellow and forest green, and you should only use red in places like the kitchen and living room, and never the bedroom. The best, most versatile colors are subtle hues of gray.

Poorly Installed Flooring

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Flooring, when done right, can increase your home’s value by up to 10%. Sadly, while tasks like laminate flooring are easy, it’s also common to see gaps, uneven surfaces, and mismatched patterns in the “completed” stage when not done by a seasoned professional. If you’re insistent on doing it yourself, always have and strictly follow installation guides.

Substandard Roofing

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DIY roofing can save you up to over $4,000 and help you avoid delays, but Bankrate also shares that it’s dangerous and difficult, and you can easily botch it. We see DIYers end up with poorly executed roofing repairs or replacements with inadequate sealing or incorrectly installed shingles, and these then lead to leaks or other structural issues.

Badly Done Tile Work

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Tile work that is uneven or poorly grouted can be an eyesore, and, for instance, crooked tiles and messy grout lines can make a space look unfinished and reduce its appeal. Precision and attention to detail are essential when installing tile to maintain the aesthetic and value of your home.

Faulty Electrical Work

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Faulty wiring or improper installations can pose a fire hazard and fail to meet building codes, and DIY electrical work, in general, can be dangerous and reduce your home’s value if not done correctly. Always consider hiring a licensed electrician for electrical projects to ensure safety and compliance.

Inadequate Plumbing Repairs

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Plumbing repairs that are not done correctly can lead to leaks and water damage. Here, we commonly see people use improper materials or techniques that can cause long-term issues that are costly to fix. Proper plumbing repairs require expertise to ensure the integrity of your home’s plumbing system and avoid these future problems.

Improper Insulation

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Gaps, compression, or using the wrong type of insulation can reduce its effectiveness, and from this insulation that’s not installed properly, you have to deal with energy inefficiency and higher utility bills. Properly installed insulation is crucial for maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home environment.

Unapproved Structural Changes

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Making structural changes without the necessary permits decreases your home’s value, and because these unapproved modifications may also not meet building codes, they can cause issues when selling the property. Always check local regulations and obtain the required permits before making any structural changes to your home.

Inaccurate Measurements

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Inaccurate measurements can lead to poorly fitting installations and wasted materials. Whether it’s for cabinets, countertops, or flooring, precise measurements are essential for a professional-looking result. Double-checking measurements can prevent costly mistakes and ensure a perfect fit for your projects.

Low-Quality Materials

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When you use low-quality materials for DIY projects, you negatively affect the durability and appearance of your home improvements. These cheap materials may wear out quickly, leading to additional costly repairs and decreased home value. To enhance the longevity and appeal of your renovations, it’s always better to invest in high-quality materials.

Poor Landscaping Choices

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Overgrown or poorly planned landscaping can detract from your home’s curb appeal, and the NAR shares that your home’s value can drop by up to 30%. For instance, you can do this by choosing plants that require excessive maintenance or are not suited to your climate, which can lead to a neglected appearance.

Misaligned Cabinets

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Crooked doors and uneven surfaces can be frustrating and reduce the appeal of the space, and cabinets that are not properly aligned can create a disorganized and unprofessional look in your kitchen or bathroom. Precise installation and alignment are key to achieving a polished and functional cabinetry setup.

Neglecting Ventilation

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Inadequate ventilation in areas like bathrooms and kitchens can lead to moisture buildup and mold growth. You should ensure proper ventilation systems are in place to maintain air quality and prevent damage. And by doing this, you protect your health and that of every other occupant in your home.

Skimping on Prep Work

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Skipping preparation steps can result in poor-quality finishes and reduced longevity of your DIY projects. Whether it’s sanding, priming, or cleaning surfaces, thorough prep work is crucial for achieving professional results. Taking the time to prepare properly ensures your projects look great and last longer.

Inconsistent Design

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Mixing too many styles or colors can create a chaotic atmosphere, and a lack of cohesive design throughout your home can make it feel disjointed and less appealing. Maintaining a consistent design theme enhances the flow and visual appeal of your home, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

Skipping Safety Measures

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Proper safety gear, tools, and precautions are essential to protect yourself and others, and neglecting these safety measures during DIY projects can lead to accidents and injuries. Always prioritize your safety, as this doesn’t just allow you to complete your projects without delay; it also saves you money on visits to the hospital.

Painting Over Wallpaper

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Painting directly over wallpaper can lead to peeling and an uneven surface, and this is especially true when you use latex or water-based primers, according to Country Living. Although there are “tips” on how to paint over wallpaper, to assure yourself of a smooth and lasting finish, simply remove the wallpaper before painting.

Cheap Fixtures

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Low-cost fixtures can detract from your home’s overall aesthetic, and this is especially true when it comes to cheap faucets, light fixtures, and hardware that may not function well or can look out of place. Investing in quality fixtures ensures durability and enhances the look of your home, adding value and appeal to your spaces.

DIY Demolition

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You should understand that every structural element, no matter how minute it seems, has a role it plays. Knocking down walls without proper knowledge, for instance, can cause unintended damage to other parts of your home. To avoid costly mistakes, it’s always best to consult with a professional before undertaking demolition.

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