Nothing will strain the bonds of holy matrimony quicker than a screaming toddler or a DIY backyard project spinning out of control. Learn from our errors by getting hip to the top four do-it-yourself project disaster opportunities and finding out how to avoid them.
Tackling DIY Tree Removal Projects
With the spruce having gotten too big and getting into the power lines, it only makes sense to get rid of it, right? Wrong! There is a lot more to cutting down a tree than Bugs Bunny and his cronies would lead you to believe. In fact, MSN sternly warns homeowners to “steer clear of taking this dangerous project to DIY task.” In addition of being in danger of electrocution, a fall from a tall ladder and serious cuts, you also have to consider the yard waste that is not all that easy to dispose of.
Solution: Pay your landscaper to remove a tree that is diseased. If there are just a few branches getting into the power lines, have these trimmed and the tree shaped – professionally. Your friendly tree trimmer usually shows up with a mulcher, which nets you some free mulch in the process.
Landscaping without a Plan
If you have been kicking around the idea of redoing the backyard, one of the spouses – usually the one who loves to wield a shovel or a pickax – will start digging up flower beds, overturning grass and hacking the patio to bits. Unfortunately, when you do not have a plan, you may be spending a ridiculous amount of money trying to get the yard to look the way it did before. HGTV considers not having a plan the number one mistake made during landscaping projects.
Solution: Wield the pencil instead of the shovel. Sketch out the look of the new backyard, estimate the cost of flowers and plants, figure out where shrubs and trees will go with an eye on future growth and do not forget to also plan for year-round appeal of the space.
Running up a Huge Big Box Home Improvement Store Credit Card Bill
Do you know how easy it is to sign up for one of these high-interest credit cards? The hook is the 12-month interest-free balance. Moreover, your first purchase usually comes with a 10 percent discount. Since it is easy to run up a couple of grand in one trip, you save big – right until the 12 months have run their course. Then, you just pay big.
Solution: Going to the home improvement warehouse store to get inspiration is a good thing. Just be sure to leave your credit cards at home and walk right past the nice associate who offers to get you signed up for a store card. Next, compare prices at the competing stores for the materials you need. Only then should you make a buying decision.
Forgetting the 811 Call
When you are digging deep in the soil, there is a good chance that you meet up with some of the creature comforts you take for granted. Depending on where you live, you may find buried utility lines, sewer pipes and water lines. When you just take the pickax to the soil, do not be surprised when there is suddenly a stench that goes to high heaven.
Solution: Call 811 or your state-specific number. Talk to a utility representative who can help you find out what might be running underneath your property – right where you are planning on placing your perfectly spaced arborvitae hedge.