17 DIY Tips from the Experts
Since many of our customers are DIYers and come to our site for inspiration, to learn how to build something creative, or to solve a unique problem, we thought it would be helpful to provide some useful tips. Whether you're just starting to think about a project, ready to build, or half way through, we hope to make your DIY journey a smooth and fun one.
In that spirit, we rounded up 17 DIY experts and asked them what their number one DIY tip was. These experts possess a wide range of skills and consist of DIY bloggers, contractors, home remodelers, and more. Each is extremely familiar with DIY projects and the struggles that a DIY project can bring.
In asking the experts for their number one DIY tip, we chose to keep this question broad and allowed the experts to answer back openly. This provided for some unique answers including tips for planning, jumping into a project, flooring, painting and more:
Plan & Do Your Research
One of our most received tips was to plan and do the proper research before starting a project. It's not hard to see why as many DIY projects can be an extensive process. Doing the proper planning can help to avoid mistakes and ensure you end up with an end product you enjoy. Here's what the experts had to say:
"I would say my #1 tip before starting a project is to do your research. Spend as much time as you can in the planning stages. It will make things go much faster and smoother once you get to the hands on part. Figure out what you want to make, research all the available material and tool options, think through each step (or if you are following a tutorial, carefully read through each step) before starting. This should make for a more positive overall experience and hopefully keep you from having any DIY fails or having to scrap a project to start over. And if you do all this and you still get caught up with something not working out with your project, just remember that where there is a will there is a way. If you invest the time to figuring out where you went wrong and what resources/tools you may need to fix things you may avoid that DIY fail all together. And of course- always measure twice and cut once!"
Chelsea Mohrman is a blogger, stylist, and maker who shares her experiences on her blog, Farm Fresh Therapy.
"My number one tip to any builder would be to plan, plan, plan. Make sure to take the time to plan your build before you start, even if its as little as sketching it out. Thinking through a design will cut down on waste and errors as well as help you to come up with a more solid design and more efficient use of wood."
Jamison Rantz is an Aerospace Engineer who in his spare time shares his DIY projects on his blog, Rogue Engineer.
"My number one DIY tip is just to do your homework. There are usually lots of ways to do the same DIY project, and mistakes are common when you're doing something for the first time. So with a few tutorials read and video views under your tool belt, you'll be better prepared for any curveballs that come your way!"
Sarah Fogle is a DIY, Home Renovation, & Power Tool Junkie who shares her DIY tips and tutorials on The Ugly Duckling House blog.
"Hands down my number one DIY tip is - be prepared! DIY projects can be so exciting, yet there's nothing worse than being in the middle of a DIY and realizing you forgot an important piece at the hardware store. Pausing mid DIY to run to the store to grab materials is a DRAG, and for me usually results in half finished projects. I've seen how professionals work, they thoughtfully lay out all the materials they need, all the tools they need within arms reach (tool belt anyone?) and don't start executing until they're fully prepared."
Brittany is an accountant by day and a DIYer by night. She shares her experiences on her blog, Brittany Makes.
"STOP! Stop and do your due diligence with respect to discovering exactly how the task your tackling is supposed to be done. Do NOT just start the job and hope you know how to do it. Do the following: Read and understand the written instructions from the product manufacturer about the product(s) you're about to install. If possible, do a test of the product you're working with before you do the actual install. In other words, if you've never laid ceramic floor tile before, put some down on a piece of cement board that's laying on your garage floor. Discover there how to correct all your mistakes before you try to install the tile in your kitchen!"
Tim Carter is a digital home improvement expert and is the founder of AsktheBuilder.com.
But Don’t Be Afraid To Try
While planning and doing the proper research are important, sometimes you need to just jump in and get started...
"So my tip would be to just jump in and try! Failure is a major part of learning something new (which DIY usually involves) and if you wait until you know every single thing you'll never start!"
Mandi Gubler is a Thrift Store Junkie who writes about her crafts on her blog, Vintage Revivals.
"Don't be afraid to get in the DIY game and give it a shot! Projects can be intimidating, but the only way you're going to get better and build your DIY confidence is to just do it. Research steps ahead of time, come up with a gameplan, and then get to work. Even if you make mistakes along the way, you're learning valuable skills that will only help you the next time around."
Bridget & Casey are Thrift Store and Home Decor Junkies who combine their talents to create DIY projects at The DIY Playbook.
"My number 1 tip for anyone who wants to begin a DIY is to just be brave and do it! The worst that will happen is that it won't go as planned, but most likely you will end up with an extraordinary project that you did yourself and that is incredibly rewarding!"
Ashley Phipps is an Interior Designer turned DIY Crafter/Blogger who writes about her projects on her blog, Simply Designing.
" If you don't succeed the first time, learn from your experience. If you have to call in a professional, stand by and watch how they complete the project so you can do it next time."
Brittany Bailey is a Blogger, Graphic Designer, and Web Designer who empowers people to create their own projects through her blog, Pretty Handy Girl.
"My number one tip would be: Don't be afraid to experiment. Some of my favorite projects have come from Happy Accidents. Of course, you'll want to test the experiment on a scrap first."
Greta Brinkley is a Lifestyle, Beauty & Style Blogger. Check out her DIY projects on her blog, How Was Your Day?.
Use the Right Tools
"Before you start your project, be sure you are working with the proper tools and equipment and familiarize yourself with them. Different materials require different types of paint, blades, sandpaper, etc. Do your research."
Dinah Wulf is a DIY Craft Blogger and Freelance Writer who shares her experiences on her blog, DIY Inspired.
"Use the right tools for the job, and use good ones. The correct tools, whether it be for painting, renovating, building a house, or any project in between can make a huge difference in a project and can save you time, money and aggravation."
Jessica is a DIY Blogger, Furniture Upcycler, and Old House Owner who writes about DIY projects on her blog, Decor Adventures.
"Take the time to do everything the right way first. Sort of a reminder that taking shortcuts usually makes the project take longer and creates problems."
Malissa & Machelle are twin sisters who share DIY tutorials, printables, and party ideas on their blog, A Joyful Riot.
Painting & Staining
"My number one tip would be to never underestimate the power of paint. If you are on a budget and really want to transform a space, paint can make a huge difference and is relatively inexpensive to change."
Erin Spain is a Blogger, Writer, and Mother of three boys. She writes about her DIY & decorating experiences on her blog, DIY On the Cheap.
"Currently my favorite diy tip is using Glad Press'n Seal Wrap to keep paint brushes from drying out between coats. Here's a link to show you what I mean: http://www.4men1lady.com/glad-pressn-seal-for-your-toolbox/. It's saved me a lot of money from not having to buy new brushes."
Michelle Hinckley is a DIYer, Decorating Diva, and Mother of three boys. She writes about her DIY experiences on her blog, 4 Men 1 Lady.
"My number one DIY tip is to make sure if you are using soft wood and a staining it to use a pre-wood conditioner in order to avoid a splotchy finish."
Beckie Farrant is a DIY blogger who focuses on turning "trash into treasure" at Infarrantly Creative.
"An easy option for affordable DIY flooring is peel and stick tile. You can purchase peel and stick tile at most home improvement stores. Purchase two colors of tile, alternate them on the diagonal for a high-end look on a budget."
Karianne is a Blogger who shares her re-purposing DIY projects on her blog, Thistlewood Farms.
Hopefully, by now you’re inspired and better informed for starting your next DIY Project! Be sure to check out the contributor's blogs for DIY ideas as they have many great DIY projects that you can try. You can also check out our blog for industrial pipe furniture projects.
Now, it’s your turn let us know what your number one tip is in the comments below!