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The Home Remodeling Projects Owners Most Regret

Home remodeling isn’t as easy as it looks on TV. And for nearly two-thirds of homeowners who’ve attempted a do-it-yourself house project, they say they regret not calling in an expert on at least one of their projects, according to a new survey from ImproveNet of about 2,000 Americans.

But the motivation to save some money is a big driver for their attempts. On average, homeowners said they hoped to save at least 60 percent in costs by bypassing a professional and trying to do it themselves, the survey shows. A separate study by the National Association of REALTORS® shows a bigger attraction to DIY home projects, particularly among younger generations. 

On average, homeowners surveyed by ImproveNet reported attempting eight house projects themselves. But about a third admit to having later to hire a professional to redo the job.

“We’ve seen people take on a lot more than they could deal with,” Joanne Theunissen, the remodeling chair of the National Association of Home Builders, told®. “Be cautious. If it looks easy on TV, understand it’s not.”

The project that homeowners say they regret the most attempting themselves is installing floor tiles, particularly in the master bath, according to the survey. Getting ceramic tile level and grouted correctly can be very tricky and require many thorough steps, Theunissen says.

Fifty-five percent of DIYers say their projects took longer to complete than they expected, and more than half said their project was physically more difficult than they anticipated as well. Fifty-five percent of respondents also said their finished project didn’t look as good as they had hoped. About 8 percent of respondents said their homes were damaged because of their DIY attempts.

The top 10 most regretted DIY home improvement projects, according to ImproveNet, are:

  • Installing floor tiles

  • Replacing a ceiling

  • Refinishing hardwood floors

  • Installing carpets

  • Finishing the basement

  • Installing hardwood floors

  • Refinishing cabinetry

  • Installing sprinklers

  • Installing showers and baths

  • Painting home interiors

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