DIY projects can save a lot of money. You may also be tempted to save even more money, or time, by skipping over important steps. It’s not worth it — if you make a major mistake, you’ll be out a lot more than if you simply got a professional to do it. You will still save money even if you make sure you’ve done everything right. Also, these are things the professionals would do anyway, so it won’t take any longer, though it may take more of your own time.
“Measure twice, cut once” isn’t just a figure of speech. It’s something professionals actually do, and you should as well. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to measure more than twice, especially if it’s not something you do frequently. But even before you measure and cut anything, you’ll want to know the exact layout of your home. That doesn’t just mean which rooms connect to which. Figure out where your pipes, electrical wiring, and supports are. You don’t want to accidentally damage the structure of your home by cutting or nailing into the wrong thing. When it comes time to figure out what you’re replacing parts of your home with, don’t skimp on the materials, and use proper tools. For many DIY projects, labor is the most expensive part, not the materials. Even for those projects with expensive materials, the higher price of quality materials is worth it, particularly since you can use the money you’re saving on labor to pay those additional costs. Finally, if you do end up making a mistake, don’t fall prey to the sunk cost fallacy. Just call a professional before you make things worse.