Many home improvement projects that homeowners undertake themselves do not go according to plan, online referral source ImproveNet finds. ImproveNet's survey of 2,000 Americans who attempted at least one DIY project in November 2018 found that 63% have regretted at least one of their projects.
ImproveNet's survey found that 56% of respondents decided to take on a project by themselves to save money, while 10% decided to take on a home improvement project to "make sure it's done right." The respondents in the survey hoped to save at least 60% of what they would have paid a professional, yet one in three respondents had to call a professional to redo their botched work.
Nearly half of respondents said the home improvement projects took longer than anticipated, were physically harder than anticipated, or were technically harder than anticipated. Nearly one in five homeowners also said the project cost more than anticipated and, on average, DIY projects that ran over budget cost twice as much as anticipated. ImproveNet also found that homeowners spent an average of 22 hours longer than expected on projects that fell behind schedule.
Among homeowners disappointed with their results, over half (55%) said the final project didn't look good, while nearly a quarter said the project didn't function well (24%) or didn't hold up over time (21%). Homeowners who worked on home improvement projects said they spent on average six hours researching their project, with the vast majority using YouTube videos or home improvement websites as guides.
The most commonly attempted projects by homeowners were interior painting projects, floor tile installations, kitchen and bath fixture installations, and hardwood floor installations. The most regretted DIY projects were floor tile installations, ceiling replacements, hardwood floor refinishing projects, carpet installations, and basement finishing projects.
Forty percent of respondents said they regretted floor projects, while nearly a third regretted room additions or expansions (35%), wall and ceiling projects (31%), and cabinet and counter projects (30%). Foundation repair projects were the most common to go over budget, cause damage to the home, and take longer than expected. Homeowners also cited electrical work and backsplash installation as the two types of project that were more technically difficult than anticipated.