What Scares You About DIY?: Facing The Unexpected!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

what scares you banner oct 2014vintage floor carpet lion man


Were you scared? Well, probably not. But, if you were in a heightened state of worry over a big DIY project you had in mind, and I came up behind you … you’d kick me out of your house, probably. The point is, when you’re not expecting something, or when you’re expecting not to expect something, things can get kind of frightening.

We’ve explored a whole gamut of fears from our readers and customers in our series of What Scares You About DIY? which you can catch up to on YouTube, and even participate in today and tomorrow (Halloween!) right here. But, in the meantime, here’s sample of the many fears our readers and our customers shared with us related to the terror of the unknown; that hidden problem which reveals itself the moment you undertake a project that you thought was unrelated.


Dennis’s fear kicks the whole thing off in general; the job that seems straightforward, but turns out to be a monster as it goes along. No one wants that! Here’s what we said to Dennis about that.


Jenny put forward another fear of the unexpected – costs, and also in working with a bad installer. Again, these are pretty rational fears when it comes to a home improvement project. But, that doesn’t mean there’s no way to address them. Here’s what we said to Jenny to acknowledge this, and to offer some advice.


As if to prove the point of how common a fear this is, Lauren echoed Jenny’s fear about unexpected costs. Here’s what we told her, including some options to make her planning process more precise, and her budget more concisely planned.


Amanda referenced a very specific fear of the unexpected; the bursting pipe in her home. This type of thing puts terror into the hearts of all homeowners, or really anyone who has pipes that might burst, either because of age, or extreme temperatures. Here’s what we told her.


When we deal with old structures, sometimes the fear is that there are unknown things lurking in them or behind them. Burrrr. I just gave myself the shivers there. This is a completely common fear. So, this is how we addressed it for Brendell who is the proud owner of at least one wall that’s older than I am (but only just).


Speaking of walls, Stephen had the same fear as Brendell. But, he wanted to stare his fear in the face, grab a power saw and start a-cuttin’ Evil Dead style! Well, sometimes fears are in place for a reason, often wisdom in disguise. So, here’s what we said to him.


The wall seems to be the scariest place in the house! For Lois, it was all about the wallpaper which in her place was fairly elderly, with perhaps something sinister underneath, or maybe another case of a job turning out to be unexpectedly too drainng. Here’s what we said in response.


Walls are scary. But to Lee, so are floors and subfloors! Sometimes, it’s pretty fearful finding something unexpected under a subfloor, whether its uneveness, rot, or a former tenant of the home you’re in (totally kidding with that, although how terrifying would that be?). Here’s how we responded to Lee’s feelings of flooring foreboding.


Sometimes, whole rooms can be terrifying and full of the unexpected! Well, at least the kinds of jobs that happen in them. For EJ, it is the kitchen where electricity and plumbing rule supreme, and really do hold a lot of unexpected issues for a lot of DIYers. Here’s how we responded to EJ’s misgivings.


Morena hit on something we know quite a bit about; shopping online! But, in her case it was doing so without the option of ordering samples, which makes a little bit too much room for the scary unknown and unexpected when you’re buying a big ticket item like a new floor, for instance. Boy! Did we have a few things to say about that.

Making the unexpected the expected with no fear

That’s really the trick, isn’t it? The best way to make the unexpected the expected is to educate ourselves. Information is the key tool for any kind of pursuit, and it’s certainly vital when it comes to DIY home improvement. With information, and with healthy dialogue between the DIYer and the professional experts in their field, the BOO factor when it comes to projects we’re afraid of gets its wings clipped toute suite!

So, what’s your take on all of this? What unexpected issues are you afraid to find while you’re embarking on a home improvement project? What projects have you brought to a halt due to your misgivings?

Tell us all about it in the comments section of this post!

And also – if you do have a fear, why not tell us about it here? We will be responding to your fears for the rest of today and tomorrow.



what scares you banner oct 2014

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.