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The Top 9 DIY Mistakes Contractors Have to Fix

August 30, 2021

If home improvement television networks have taught us nothing else, it’s that the one critical skill all homeowners need is knowing when to call in the professionals. Whether it’s a (not so) quick fix or a full-blown renovation, without the right skillset, what starts as a DIY project can quickly become a contractor rescue mission.

For homeowners, these oversteps can mean significant extra expenses and additional time. But for contractors, understanding where DIYers most frequently overreach can help you better market your services and be prepared with options for customers faced with financing these unexpected costs.

Plumbing Pitfalls

Disconnecting pipes under the sink to clear a clog sounds like a simple task — and it is. Which is exactly why homeowners can fall victim to this plumbing disaster. The problem usually arises when it comes time to reassemble. Pipes are more complex than most non-plumbers realize and what started as a simple unclogging job can quickly become extensive water damage. 

HVAC Hazards

In a surprise twist, when it comes to HVAC systems, DIYers often take a more hands off approach. Whether it’s neglecting the filter (or using the wrong one), putting off regular maintenance or blocking vents, these common HVAC mistakes can stack up quickly. While regular tune-ups may seem tedious and like an additional cost, preventative maintenance and service contracts can save homeowners money in the long run.

Flooring Faux Pas

On the surface, laying tile or hardwood flooring looks like a simple task, but so many different things can go wrong. Whether it’s unleveled and/or rotting subfloors, mistaken measurements, or not purchasing enough material, the risk of a flooring disaster can be high — not to mention costly — for DIYers. With Ally Lending, contractors and service providers can help homeowners find affordable financing solutions to  price out projects  ahead of time and avoid unnecessary costs.

Poorly Placed Plants

Yes, nothing wreaks more havoc on homes than mother nature, especially when she gets some help from landscapers who might not be the most experienced. When selecting plants for a yard or garden, homeowners need to consider more than just the aesthetic of their curb appeal. They must think long term: Could this plant grow up and damage my siding? Will these roots destroy the front walkway (or worse)? Might this groundcover be a haven for rodents and insects?

Roofing Redos

Installing a new roof might be particularly ambitious for most DIYers, but they could easily think replacing the odd shingle or two is doable. What a homeowner won’t know, though, is that the placement of shingles needs to be very specific, otherwise they won’t do what they’re supposed to (create a weather-proof barrier). When it comes to roofing, quick fixes can lead to much larger expenses when not properly repaired.

Foundation Faults

It goes without saying that anything structural should really be handled by the professionals, but experienced DIYers might feel confident trying their hand at small foundation repairs. The trouble is, many surface foundation issues (think: water leaking through) are symptoms of deeper problems (like the stability of your entire home) and fixing the visible signs only masks the problem. These temporary solutions won’t fix what will cost homeowners significantly more in the long run.

Siding Slip-Ups

Much like roofing, a siding fix can look deceptively simple. But misaligned or improperly secured siding can be just as detrimental as a poorly patched roof. What’s worse, it may take some time for the effects to become noticeable, leading to potentially devastating damage. By the time homeowners spot their mistake, the costs could be more than they can comfortably take on.

Electrical Emergencies

Whether it’s installing a light fixture or replacing a switch, electrical projects are a common source of missteps. The most frequent? Loose wires. This poses all kinds of safety concerns, from electrocution to fires to shorting the entire system — and these potential hazards aren’t worth any amount of savings. Safety should always be the priority for any home project and that’s especially true with electrical work where mistakes can be disastrous.

Know When to Let the Professionals Handle It

Plenty of home projects are perfect for the dedicated DIYer, but when the plans get too big things can get messy, potentially dangerous and expensive quickly. By understanding these top mistakes and the resulting challenges and costs, providers and contractors can be prepared to help these ambitious-but-overwhelmed homeowners overcome their DIY troubles in a way that aligns with their budget and allows them to move on to the next project.

Learn how providers and contractors can offer homeowners the purchasing power they need for renovations and repairs .


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