Kim Mullan Blog
DIY Mistakes. Knowing When to Pass the Baton
DIY mistakes...over the years I have been through a lot of homes and it's always easy to tell who has done upgrades and updates themselves without having the appropriate skill set.
Some of the most glaring poor decisions...
1- Drywall Mudding/Sanding. If this is not smooth as silk it looks horrible - adding a coat of dark high gloss paint to the mess will really showcase poor workmanship. These people are "artists" & "perfectionists - they are not in a hurry and most of us can't compete with their quality.
2- Tiling/Grouting. ...especially with natural stone where the tiles are not laid property and the surface is higher/lower all over the place, bad grout lines and uneven spacing...what a costly error! Not only is it noticeably bad workmanship but your buyer knows it's a fortune to fix. All the tile money and time spent is out the window as the buyer calculates the cost to start over with a professional AFTER the complicated, costly and messy process of tearing the work out.
3- Caulking Tubs/Showers. If someone doesn't have a steady hand and can't get a clean bead it's best to walk away. Don't use white caulking if you have ivory fixtures- it just makes them look dirty. Yuck
4- Trim Work Crown Moulding/Baseboards. No, no, no. If the cuts and seams aren't precise it's a distracting eye sore. All that money on crown moulding loses it's glamour-impact if not done by a perfectionist.
5- Painting. Seriously, cutting-in ceilings and trim work takes practice. If you can't cut in without taping - tape. If you can't tape evenly just call a painter - that's all they do every day. They can do it faster, better and save you money so a buyer doesn't immediately say "we will have to repaint this whole thing!" I have seen that! The house has just been painted by your cousin's father's neighbours babysitter for a case of beer but if the buyer hasn't had a case of beer they may not appreciate the "update".
6- Cleaning. It might seem odd to add this to a list of risky DIY decisions but a lot of times it's the first place to call a pro. Especially before you start showings! Ask the realtor this important question: "Should I call a professional cleaner in or does this look good enough to be show-ready"? They probably have some phone numbers for you.
Honestly, a good realtor has all the phone numbers you need.