5 Don’ts of DIY Home Renovation


Whether your home is due for a total revamp or you’re taking on a new décor trend, here are five definite DON’Ts to avoid regrets (and insanity) when renovating your humble abode.

If you’ve got your overalls on and a hammer in hand, let us stop you for a brief moment. The thought of a home renovation is very exciting – a new shiny kitchen, a bright bathroom, a new colour scheme for your walls. The possibilities are endless and the choices are all up to you!

With just a few restraints.

Unless you’re the Superman of all trades and simultaneously a Jedi of interior design, let us give you a few pointers. Here are five things you should definitely not do.

Wire Towel, Moonbeam from L&M Home. Shop towels and bathroom accessories online at Zanui.

1. Don’t expect to be able to do everything on your own

And don’t expect your partner to be able to do what you can’t! We’re all for DIYs. We love them. But some things should definitely be left to the professionals.

If you’re up for painting your own walls, give it a go on a small scale to see how long the task takes you and if you’re happy with the results.

When it comes to fitting in new lights or changing the plumbing behind your walls, it’s best to flip open the Yellow Pages. You don’t want leakages, or worse, a trip to the emergency room.

It’s important to know from the beginning which tasks are for experts and which you’re confident you can do on your own.

urban-road - 5 don'ts of DIY home renovation
Dauntless Cushion from Urban Road. Shop all cushions online at Zanui.

2. Don’t go over budget

We don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but one of the least fun (and by least fun, we mean downright stressful) things about renovating is also one of the most important – budgeting.

It can be easy to give in to the first thing you see or the first quote you’re given. Don’t do it! If you have a budget, there’s no saying that you can’t get your dream look with the amount that you’ve set. Top tip: shop around!

Give yourself plenty of time to browse and compare prices. Shopping around will also give you other ideas and open your eyes to what’s out there, especially if this is your first renovation.

future-classics-furniture- 5 don'ts of diy home renovation
Foxcroft Armchair from Future Classics Furniture. Shop all armchairs online at Zanui.

3. Don’t think you can get it all done at once

If you’re living in the house that you’re renovating, you need to cater for ‘zones’ that will be out of use due to the renovations.

Say your kitchen is being remodelled. This means you won’t be able to cook for a few days. If your upstairs is having carpet ripped out, know that you’ll have to crash on the couch downstairs for a night or two.

Sometimes we get too excited and make rash decisions in the hope that it’ll all be over in a few days. Like most good things, it will take time – weeks or even months. So plan well and sit tight.

5 don'ts of DIY home renovation
Larsen 3 Seater Sofa, Light Grey from Zanui and Lucilla Round Coffee Table from Horgans.

4. Don’t take on a DIY without doing proper research

And don’t take on a DIY without a sample start or ‘trial’ (we know we mentioned this before, but it is that important). Not knowing 110% what you’re getting yourself into almost guarantees an unsatisfied finish (sorry to say!).

But this doesn’t mean a flawless finish is impossible! You just need to have high levels of confidence and knowledge. The good thing is that information is so easily accessible (thanks, Google!).

Research articles on which materials are best, read about experiences from other first-timers, watch YouTube clips and take trips to your hardware stores for professional advice.

Have a set list of steps and products to avoid trips back and forth from your hardware store. And don’t get overwhelmed – just remember that you need to ask questions specific to your room. You’re not expected to learn the whole trade after all 😉

harpers project - 5 don'ts of DIY home renovation
European Marble Bath Caddy from Harpers Project. Shop bed and bath online at Zanui.

5. Don’t stress!

What is stress good for? Absolutely nothing! Of course, not stressing doesn’t mean there’s guaranteed to be no hiccups.

Something unexpected will come up (like a pipe you didn’t anticipate needing a replacement!). The structure of your home has a mind of its own and you’ve entered into its ball game – don’t expect it to be total smooth sailing! That’s why it’s important to cater for everything in your budget and research, including bumps in the road.

Easier said than done, but try to keep calm during the whole process.  If you’re well prepared then the experience will be fun! You’re putting together a room with your own picks from scratch, and the end result will be worth the wait! Promise 😉

Natalie Milad is a content and blog writer who studied journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney. Since her graduation in 2016, she has landed a gig at Zanui. Her days not writing are usually filled with DIY projects, floury benchtops and tending to her bunny. Natalie loves animated short films, animals and Christmas. She has experience in script writing, news reading and interviewing. Among her favourites was interning for The Bridal Bazaar.