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Austin Real Estate Brokers 9 Most Likely Fixer Upper Mistakes




The standard rule for do-it-yourself projects is that they will take twice as long and cost three times as much as you expected. Or, maybe it's take three times as long and cost twice as much. Either way, the reason is the same. Do-it-yourselfers often make mistakes and sometimes lots of mistakes. The good news is that you can learn a lot from mistakes. The bad news is that mistakes always wind up making your home improvement project more expensive and more time consuming than you wanted. Home improvement experts were asked for their lists of the top DIY goofs, with advice on how to avoid repeating the errors in the future.


1. Inadequate preparation of the job site
If you do a small addition, someone will probably be delivering materials. You don't want them out of order or exposed to weather while you are working. Or worse, they could be stolen if they're not properly stored. (If you have a septic tank, make sure you know where it is. If a supplier delivering materials in a heavy truck drives over it, it could crack your tank)


2. Skimping on materials
Many do-it-yourselfers use quarter-inch drywall for building walls. You need at least five-eighths-inch; three-quarters-inch works well for a good sound barrier. The same rule applies to plywood for subfloors. Go with three-quarter-inch. It creates a much stronger floor, especially if you're installing wood floors over them


3. Using the wrong paint
One of the most popular DIY projects around, painting, can make a place look great. Flat paint should be used only for ceilings though. Interior paints should have at least an eggshell or satin finish so you can scrub it. On outdoor decks, sun and rain tear the heck out of the wood. Clear sealers don't block the UV rays, and they peel. Use a linseed oil-based stain; it drives the pigment into the wood and preserves it.


4. Improper preparation of walls for painting
A good quality paint job is 90 percent preparation. Clean the walls, sand them and patch any holes before you paint. Ramsel recommends a coat of primer or stain blocker if you're trying to cover over oil-based paint, stains, peeling paint or if you're painting a lighter color over a darker color


5. Unsafe job conditions
Nothing diminishes your return on investment like a trip to the emergency room. Wear safety goggles when using power tools or working with drywall or wood, wear hard hats when you're working under other people on scaffolding, and open some windows when you're painting. Wear gloves when you're carrying wood, metal, and rock, or when hammering.


6. Inaccuracy
'Measure twice, cut once.' It's so important for things such as building walls, hanging drywall or cutting baseboards, counter tops or pipe. If you're going to err, err on the side of too long. You can always make something shorter; you can't make it longer. Spackle can cover up to an eighth of an inch seam; if it's a quarter of an inch, the seam will pop the spackle and show.


7. Working beyond your limits
Everybody has them. Yours might be plumbing or electrical work. Don't stand on the top steps of ladders and don't try to work beyond your reach.


8. Failure to get needed experience
You don't want to start to learn how to do a project on your own house. If you have a friend who is a contractor or an experienced remodeler, offer your assistance on a project. No one will turn away free labor.


9. Failure to get a clue
If you need to remove a supporting wall, have an engineer look at it to see what kind of beam you need to replace it. If you have a saw in your hand and have a question about what you're doing, stop. Follow that little voice in your head.

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