Many DIY projects go off the rails when the person doing the work fails to map out what needs to be done or research how to do it.
No matter what kind of DIY project you take on, whether it is a craft or a total bathroom redo, there are five essential steps to ensuring it stays on track:
Take time to properly plan the project. There is a big difference between tearing a picture from a magazine and having a project blueprint.
It's easy and fun to spend time poring over magazines, books, online articles and researching what you want your project to look like when it's done.
However, far too many people stop there.
Once you have a clear image of the goal, outline each of the specific work steps you need to take to complete the project.
Divide each item on the list into one of three areas: foundation work, core work, finishing work. Map out a project schedule and budget.
Don't go to the home-improvement store with the hope of getting inspired.
It's a surefire way to spend significantly more than you need to.
Make a list of materials and tools you need before you leave the house.
Check prices with online retailers and see if you can find coupons or discounts for what you need.
A DIY project can force one to learn new skills.
That could be anything from learning how to grout tiles to learning how to stitch a quilt piece together. Before you begin, identify what things you will need to learn and at what stage you will need to learn them.
Then search for relevant ''how-to'' tutorials and have them at the ready.
There's always a surge of excitement once you begin.
That's why it's particularly important to follow your project plan carefully during this phase.
You don't want to cut corners in haste or forget something that's absolutely critical. But that's just the kind of thing that happens with alarming frequency if you're flying blind.
Final stages. This is where a lot of projects get bogged down and procrastination can set in.
Avoid this by keeping those appointments you set in the planning stage and by identifying key milestones for this phase.
If you get off track and are feeling overwhelmed, set an egg timer for 30 minutes each day after you come home from work and make consistent progress.
Celebrate every milestone you complete. If you encounter a problem that throws you for a loop, head online to see if you can find answers. If you don't trust what you read, call in an expert for opinion and direction.
Yes, it will likely cost you $150 to $200, but it's better to be safe than sorry.