Making improvements to your home on your own can be tremendously satisfying on many levels.

If you’re good with your hands — and you do your homework — you may save a fortune by going the DIY route by buying gardening supplies online or creating your own space work from home. And aside from the financial benefits, you’ll earn the satisfaction of a job well done.

However, DIY renovations don’t always go as planned.

Here are three things you can do when you bite off more than you can chew with a DIY home improvement project.

1. Hire a Reputable Contractor

Let’s face it. You’ve already given it your best shot. You’ve watched every YouTube video (twice) and This Old House rerun, and it’s just not working out.

Sometimes, cutting your losses is the best solution. It’s easy to throw good money after bad — and your time is valuable too.

If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, cut your losses and hire a reputable contractor. Sometimes it takes a trained, experienced professional to put things right.

It’s crucial to hire the right person for the job. The last thing you need is to create more expensive and time-consuming headaches!

Don’t hire just anybody you find online. Check the contractor’s references and consider running a background check.

How long does a background check take? It depends on how careful you want to be. But online reviews are easy to fake. It’s always a good idea to verify the credentials of someone you’re trusting to come into your home and carry out work.

2. Break It Down: Microproductivity

There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious.

But when a project feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller parts. Create a checklist where you tick them off one by one. It just might be that it was the process rather than the work delaying your progress.

This method is called micro-productivity.

By creating microtasks — small milestones you complete along the way to reaching your end goal — even the most ambitious projects become more realistic.

Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the big picture, micro-productivity provides a roadmap that gives you a sense of accomplishment each step of the way.  You may be surprised how much more doable the big picture looks once you reduce it into tiny steps.

3. Take a Deep Breath and Start Again

Sometimes, all you need to complete the DIY project you started successfully is a reset.

Put down that paint roller, hammer, or trowel for the day and give yourself a break, maybe you can feed your squirrels or you can just have a beer while watching TV.

Even if you’re frustrated and completing the project feels out of reach, the way forward may be much more apparent once you get some distance (and some rest.)

Stepping away from a problem can boost creativity and help you arrive at a solution.

If you’ve been relying on only one resource to guide you, it may be time to do some more research. Perhaps there’s a more straightforward approach that you’ve overlooked.

The Takeaway

No matter how disheartened you feel about your lack of progress in achieving your home improvement goals, it’s essential not to give up hope. Every problem has a solution. Put one of the three steps outlined above to work for you today.

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