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5 Home Renovations You Shouldn't Do Yourself (And Ones You Can Tackle Instead)

Might want to re-think that extra bathroom.

With the new year comes resolutions for both yourself and your home. But before you tackle that big interior overhaul... don't.

Last month, real estate site Zillow Digs polled homeowners who had completed a DIY home renovation within the last three years to find out how they feel about their projects in the aftermath. The results were not so promising: More than 40 percent of homeowners said they regretted undertaking large DIY renovations such as refinishing cabinetry or expanding a room, as projects like these went over budget at least 20 percent of the time. Survey responders had the most regret over the following projects:

5
Refinishing or reinstalling hardwood floors
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Homeowners who regret DIY-ing: 42 percentHomeowners who went over budget: 22 percent
4
Replacing or reinstalling carpet
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Homeowners who regret DIY-ing: 43 percentHomeowners who went over budget: 23 percent
3
Refinishing a basement or attic
BanksPhotos via Getty Images
Homeowners who regret DIY-ing: 48 percentHomeowners who went over budget: 23 percent
2
Refacing or refinishing cabinetry in the kitchen or bathroom
Cultura RM/Erin Lester via Getty Images
Homeowners who regret DIY-ing: 49 percentHomeowners who went over budget: 20 percent
1
Adding or expanding a room
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Homeowners who regret DIY-ing: 53 percentHomeowners who went over budget: 42 percent

So if an update is in order, what's a homeowner to do? It's tempting to go big on DIY improvement, said Zillow's Alexa Fiander. But homeowners often forget that large-scale DIY projects require special carpentry or electrical expertise, as well as LOTS of time.

Instead, Fiander recommends small fixes like replacing light fixtures, replacing cabinet hardware and giving rooms fresh coats of paint. These easy, quick projects left homeowners regret-free more than 80 percent of the time, Zillow's survey found. (Bonus? A white paint job could make your home sell faster, if you're in the market.)

The best DIY revamp, however, may be a simple cleaning session. Many experts, including HGTV's Nicole Curtis, say decluttering before you do anything else will help you appreciate your space and renew your eye for design, thus eliminating the need for all those renovations you had planned.

...Well THAT saves us a lot of trouble. Happy new year, homeowners!

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