12 Important Lessons Learned From Real-Life Diyers

Lessons can be learned from even the smallest projects, and with each new DIY project you attempt, new lessons will be learned. We asked our DIYer audience the most important lesson they have learned from all their projects. Here are their answers!

1. It’s a marathon, not a race.

Couple renovating
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Stephen B. says, “When estimating how long a project will take to finish, I need to double the estimate and then double it again.” Give yourself grace when creating a project timeline; obstacles will arise, and a strict timeline can cause unnecessary stress. 

2. Pad the budget just in case

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“Always double the estimate and then add $50, and that is the number you give the wife as an estimate,” is Joe H.’s advice. Although double may be bit much, unexpected costs come up in DIY projects. You might damage some materials or run into unforeseen complications, and padding the budget will keep you from overspending.

3. Keep it clean!

Messy room renovation
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Harry G. says, “Clean up is essential. Before, during and after. Or you lose stuff.” Clean as you go is a phrase often heard in regards to cooking, but the same can be said for DIY projects. Keep your workspace free of clutter and debris and you will have a more successful outcome.

4. Sand and sand and sand some more.

sanding desktop
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Catherine K. and Jennifer W. agree, always sand between coats. Sanding your projects, whether wood or paint, will give a smoother finish. Invest in an electric sander to make sanding jobs quicker and more efficient.

5. Don’t get angry!

woman sitting in uninstalled bathtub
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Heather D. and Meagan J. say to take breaks when you get frustrated. Trying to power through the stress DIY projects cause will lead to burnout and unfinished projects. Walk away and take a break when the stress starts to get to you.

6. Safety first!

Anika wearing safety gear using a miter saw
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“Safety first and foremost,” is what Carmel C. learned. Improperly handling tools or failing to wear safety equipment can lead to avoidable accidents. Always follow tool instructions and wear your protective equipment before starting any DIY projects.

7. The right tool for the job.

selection of power tools
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Omar R. says, “The right tools really do help.” The wrong tools can give subpar results and using a framing nail gun when you need a brad nailer will give you more work to finish. Most big box hardware stores have tool rental programs to make it easier. Find out the best woodworking tools for beginners.

8. Ask for a helping hand.

man and woman sanding a fence
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Jonathan J. would advise being patient and asking for help when you need it. Trying to go at it alone can lead to costly mistakes and significant delays. Ask and accept help as it is offered.

9. Put it on paper.

looking at furniture build plans
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“Put build design ideas, including all measurements etc down on paper. Then check online to see if someone has a better more simple design,” is what Will M. suggests. Having a visual of what you want to create will make the planning process easier and planning well is the best lead to success.

10. Try something new today.

Woman working on a home DIY project
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Sharon C. learned, “Don’t be afraid to try something new. With tutorials helping us along, we can be successful!” It’s common to avoid a project out of fear of failure, but what is that phrase, we miss 100% of the shots we don’t take.

11. The journey is the goal.

woman building a fench
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Rebecca H. would say, “Learning something new every time you do something is what I enjoy most.” Sometimes, the aspect of learning is more beneficial than the outcome. Take on that DIY project you have been putting off and learn a new skill today.

12. Measure twice, three times, or more; Cut once

Anika measuring a board
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Vic G., Kelvin T., and Jim L. would all say to measure two, three, or four times and cut once. Being sure of a measurement is one of the most agreed-upon lessons, and taking the extra time to be sure will avoid costly mistakes.

33 Easy Wood Projects for Gifts – Handmade Is Better Than Store Bought!

building a small wood project to give as a gift
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Handmade gifts are unique, and spending the time to personalize gifts for friends and family is a great way to show your love. Check out these 33 simple woodworking gift ideas and spread joy this holiday season.

21 DIY Gifts for Plant Lovers

Anika with DIY wood vases and planters
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Do you have a plant lover in your life? Give them a gift they will love by making one of these DIY gifts for plant lovers.

Build for Free With Pallet Wood – 15 Easy Project Ideas You’ll Love

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Pallet wood projects are still popular, and for good reason. Pallets are cheap; you can usually get them for free. They are perfect for rustic decor, or you can sand them smooth for a more polished look. All of these pallet wood projects are beginner-friendly and can be made in a day.

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