Mistake Number Uno:
Don't skimp on flooring. Do it right the first time, or you'll regret. I promise! We debated back and forth for months on flooring. Get the real wood? Get the engineered wood? The guys at lumber liquidators convinced us that engineered wood was better. They said the installation was easier, especially on our concrete slab. They said it was dent-proof with its oxidized coating and that it could withstand any 3yr old boy. They said it was less likely to warp. Let me tell you- everything they said was wrong!!! We purchased a Brazilian Redwood engineered floor. Glue down right on concrete. Read all the manufacturing directions. Read every tutorial on Lumber Liquidators site. We installed the floor and it looked amazing. Absolutely gorgeous. I was in love...... and then my children walked on it. You know how a glass door looks like with a 3yr olds version of finger painting using a PB&J sandwich? Well you get the idea. Thats what my floor looked like. Every single day. I had to mop that floor and plead with my children to leave on their shoes. When guests came, I begged their children to leave their shoes on! Oily children's feet were horrific on my floors. And a dog on top of it? Well lets just say their aren't enough hours in the day to mop that floor. Warping issues galore- we had to install a whole house humidifier to correct the problem and replace about 30 boards. That's a fun project- to replace boards. The knicks and scratches were horrible. The floor wasn't stained it was naturally a reddish brown, but when you dropped something on it, you got a white mark on it. The wood wouldn't scratch but the top coating would and it was white! Good riddance! It was seriously one of the top reasons we sold our house. I feel so bad for the current owners. They have 4 boys! And a dog! I should send her an apology letter..... and a mop. She's going to go thru a lot of mops! Its been two months since we moved and every day I smile at my real wood floors.
My dream flooring would look more like this: Herringbone. (Sigh)
Know when to call a pro. We are horrible painters. I mean, it looks pretty darn nice when we finish painting but only after we spend two weeks painting a small girls bedroom. The house is trashed. Every room is completely torn apart. 7 trips to the hardware store for more paint. Its ridiculous how awful we are at painting. And we Hate it. That's right, with a capital H! I did some paint pricing and have found a painter who will paint a room for $80-100 for labor. Baseboards? Only $20! Ceiling? $20! Seriously? I'm never painting a full room again.
Don't trust the "pros" at the hardware store. We've had A LOT of bad advice from them. A wall texture fiasco that we can't get over 6 yrs later. Plumbing advice from Dr Seuss would be better that the "here's whatcha gonna do" at Home Depot. Don't take short cuts. It never works out. Especially when painting furniture. Every time we've skipped sanding, we've regretted it! (However, Im anxious to try the zinsser primer that everyone swears by) Oil based paint is also a requirement on baseboards. Don't let them tell you that their stuff is as good as oil based paint. (You have to go to specialty stores for oil based paint) We bought the "works as good as oil based" paint because it was a whole lot cheaper and paid someone to paint all our baseboards and 6 months later they looked horribly beat up. Was it worth saving $40? Absolutely not! Oil paint people. It's SO much better for furniture, cabinets and BASEBOARDS. It's a must, don't believe otherwise! And another tip because I'm such a fountain of know-it-not knowledge- blogs with step by step instructions are far better for REAL painting results than the people behind the paint counter!
No impulse buys. We have had our share of sales that suck us in. And we end up getting something because its cheap instead of getting what we want. "Someday we'll change that ugly light fixture, but for now we'll just get this cheap one". Guess what? Someday never happens and even though the light fixture was only $60. You're stuck with it. Forever. Cause it was a pain in the rumpus to change! We also subscribe now to Consumer Reports. Its great to find out how appliances and large purchases score and whether they'll hold up. A lot of expensive products don't do well! (aka: love sony but don't buy their dvd players!)
I bought this light fixture on clearance for $50 from Lowes
Good thing I moved and I have a chance to fix all my wrongs! My first 2 homes were just practice, right? So there's my top 5 mistakes off the top of my head. My loss is your gain! Hopefully you won't have the awful DIY experiences we did. But then again, if i didn't have these falls, I wouldn't be such a crafting genius now either. Bwahahaha! (insert evil genius laugh)