We’ve all (probably) been there before. We start a DIY project, we decide what we want, put hours and hours into planning and sourcing all the materials, and then we get started. We hammer in that first nail, cut the first plank of wood, or start removing the old and tired furniture that we no longer want. Unfortunately, about halfway through the day, you’ve realised that you aren’t getting anywhere. Your plans are falling apart, your materials are running out, and it’s already time to make dinner for the kids.

Let’s face it; we’re not born DIY experts. Even if you’ve worked in construction or home improvements before, there’s a chance that you’ve made a slight miscalculation somewhere and, as a result, your entire DIY project has collapsed. You’ve wasted money, time, and your partner is angry at you for turning the house into a mess. Not all of our DIY dreams turn into reality, and most of them turn into nightmares because it’s simply not easy to carry out a project on your own.

This can become incredibly stressful and demotivating. You might give up your life of DIY, you might be scared to pick up a hammer again and you might even avoid renovations in general. Here are a couple of handy tips to help motivate you again and get you back on your feet with DIY renovations.


Ask for help next time

Next time you do a DIY project, make sure you ask for some help. It could be asking your friends, family members or even hiring a contractor. DIY means “do it yourself”, but there are times when you should accept the fact that you can’t do it yourself. Many projects require several people in order to get it done efficiently. For instance, if you want to climb onto your roof and fix it or clear the gutters, then you need someone to spot you on the ladder that you’re climbing for your own safety. If you need to replace a couple dozen tiles, then each person you add will half the time it takes because you can work together at the same time. If you don’t have many friends who are willing to help, either because they lack the time or experience, then consider professional help. Contractors are skilled in a variety of renovations and there are likely dozens of businesses near you that can do just about anything. Whether it’s replacing tiles on your roof or installing a new kitchen, services like FS Construction Services can build it. In short, always ask for help and don’t be too proud to look for advice or assistance.

Everyone miscalculates

Accept the fact that everyone fails at some point in their life. Perhaps you miscalculated how much of a material you’d need, or maybe you didn’t account for something to happen like a pipe to be in a wall where you’re drilling. Accept these mistakes, learn from them, and then move on. Don’t dwell on them—even the best contractors have made glaring mistakes that have cost their company a lot of time and money. In the future, make sure you’re calculating everything correctly. From building your budget to counting how many screws or nails you need, keep a spreadsheet or a written list and always add a couple of extras for good measure. Having a few more screws and bolts is never a bad idea especially if you’re using rough estimates, and buying a couple of extra tiles to replace the ones on your roof is a good idea in case the damage is more widespread than you think. It can be a pain storing these extra materials once you’re done, but it’s better than wasting more time and money running back to the store to get more.

Set realistic expectations

Always set a realistic expectation of what you’re capable of or else you’ll end up demotivated and frustrated at not being able to finish the works. If you’re planning to install a new bathroom but you’ve never even touched a drill or a hammer in your life, then what more can you expect than failure? You have no experience, you don’t know what you’re doing and the only advice you have is probably some random article on the internet telling you what to do. Learn some DIY skills and do a lot of research before you set those crazy expectations. Another thing to keep in mind is your money. If you only have a budget of a couple hundred dollars, then why do you think you can replace an entire kitchen? Realistic expectations with your money are also important. You can barely replace a few kitchen appliances with a few hundred dollars, let alone renovate the entire place. If you think you’ve found a bargain because there’s a business selling things for cheap, then keep in mind the quality of the parts. While a cheap kitchen appliance can be tempting, it probably won’t last as long as something that costs twice the amount.

Don’t rush your work

Don’t underestimate how long it takes to finish a DIY project. The more complicated the work, the more time it’s going to take. Make sure you don’t rush anything in your project and give yourself ample time to work out all the kinks. Replacing the floor sounds easy enough, but what about the time it takes to clear out the room? If you rush the measurements or try to speed up by cutting corners, then you’re eventually going to end up with a half-finished project that doesn’t meet your expectations. If you’re going to tackle a lengthy renovation project, then make sure you’ve reserved enough time. Take a few days off work, or make sure the house is clear and your children have something to do so they don’t interrupt you. If you’re planning to do the renovation with friends or family, then your schedules need to be synced in order to get the most work done. If you try to complete the works in a single weekend, then you’ll end up rushing and ultimately be left with something half-finished and disappointing.