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DIY Damage Control: What to Do When a Home Improvement Project Goes Awry

If you live by the motto “if you want something done well, do it yourself,” you may view home improvements as a strictly DIY endeavor. One survey found that up to 70 percent of Americans prefer the DIY route when it comes to modifying their homes. If you have the tools, the time, and a plan, it can be an affordable and hands-on option.

However, it’s important to treat these projects with extreme care. What happens if a DIY project goes wrong? The first step of any home repair project is ensuring that your homeowners insurance is up to snuff. CoverHound can help you learn more about why it’s important to check out coverage options before you head to the hardware store.

Everyone who starts out with a do-it-yourself mentality has the best intentions, but It’s impossible to predict every challenge that can arise. A Zillow Digs survey found that almost 40 percent of homeowners who did a DIY project regretted it. According to this research, some of the top regretted projects were:

− Adding or expanding a room (53 percent)

− Refinishing kitchen or bathroom cabinetry (49 percent)

− Refinishing the attic or basement (48 percent)

− Replacing or installing carpeting (43 percent)

− Refinishing or installing hardwood floors (42 percent)

− Installing a deck (35 percent)

− Installing new countertops (33 percent)

If you’re at the point where you know something isn’t quite right with your DIY project—whether it’s a slight cosmetic flaw or a gaping hole in your drywall—consider these options from U.S. News & World Report for getting back on track.

Try Again. Practice makes perfect, right? You may have gained valuable experience on your first attempt. If you feel that you can fix your DIY mishap yourself without risk of further damage or safety perils, then don’t be afraid to take a second crack at making things right.

Get it inspected. It may look adequate at first glance, but bring in an inspector if you have any doubts. They will be able to tell you if what looks like a perfectly fine plumbing setup may cause a massive leak down the line. Electrical, fire, water, and structural hazards are not always easy to diagnose yourself, so consider asking a trained inspector to assess the damage and how to move forward safely.

Call A Professional. There’s no shame in hanging up your tool belt if a DIY project becomes overwhelming. You may even stave off disaster by recognizing this early in the process. Consider this tale from DIY enthusiast Trent Hamm, who discovered that what he thought was a simple leaky faucet was an altogether improperly installed sink.

“So, after burning an hour and a half and buying a basin wrench that I didn’t entirely need, I wound up on the phone with a plumber,” Hamm writes. “The task had spiraled into something that was far beyond my comfort level for home repair.”

The Insurance Information Institute recommends communicating with your insurance company before you start any projects, DIY or otherwise. It’s important to carry the right amount of liability insurance in case someone is injured over the course of the project, as well as the right protection against future damages. Learn more about homeowners insurance with a CoverHound comparison!

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