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10 most-likely do-it-yourselfer 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. DIYers make mistakes. 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.

With that as a premise, Bankrate.com asked home improvement experts for their lists of the top DIY goofs, with advice on how to avoid repeating the errors in the future.

Our experts are:

Ed Del Grande, host of DIY Network's 'Warehouse Warriors' show. A master plumber, pipe fitter and fire-sprinkler fitter, Del Grande has more than 20 years of construction experience.

Lou Manfredini, the official Ace Hardware 'Helpful Hardware Man.' (You didn't think it was John Madden, did you?) The home improvement expert for the NBC Today Show, the Chicago-based contractor also answers tons of questions from DIYers on the Ace Hardware Web site.

C.J. Ramsel, owner of Unlimited Inc., in Miami, Fl., and home improvement contractor to the stars, including Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin.

Barbara Kavovit, owner of Anchor Construction, the largest woman-owned construction firm in the country. Based in New York City, she's worked on Carnegie Hall, Bloomingdale's and Sotheby's -- and sells a DIY tool kit especially designed for women.
Here are their top 10 DIY mistakes:

Not taking out the required permits. This is a big issue with both Del Grande and Manfredini. Considered a bother at best by many DIYers, permits actually serve a greater purpose than just raising money for the government.

"People in permitting offices aren't evil," notes Manfredini. "They're there to make sure the job is done right and you don't hurt yourself."

Plus, for some jobs, such as putting in a wood stove, you need proof of the permit or your insurance carrier won't cover it.

Not sure if your job requires a permit? Del Grande says that the rule of thumb is that you need one for anything larger than painting and wallpapering. It doesn't hurt to call the building department and ask.

Nothing slows down a job more than not having all the materials you need. Manfredini notes that one reason the pros can do what they do is that they buy quality tools. "There's always a bargain bin," he says. "It's not a wise investment. You lose time and money."

Inadequate preparation of the job site. If you do a small addition, they'll be delivering materials. You don't want them out of order or exposed to weather while you are working, Del Grande says. 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, you could be looking at a cracked tank. Yuck.)

Article continued at http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/home-improvement/mistakes1.asp

 

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