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Remodeling and Home Design

Three Reasons Not to Attempt a Do-It-Yourself Project

June 3, 2013 / News

DIY-gone-wrongAre you a HGTV junkie? Do you spend hours browsing design ideas on Pinterest? Find yourself wandering the aisles of Lowe’s and Home Depot dreaming of home improvement projects? Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects have skyrocketed in recent years with the explosion of popular design shows and blogs. But here are three reasons to put down the hammer and pick up the telephone to call a professional remodeler.

Hidden Costs

According to HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau, DIY home improvement projects tend to be smaller, with 50 percent of these projects costing less than $950. While many projects may look manageable at first, consider the “real” cost of a project.

  • Purchasing new tools can be fun, but consider the price of all those specialty tools sitting untouched in your garage for a few years.
  • Many of the products sold to the DIY market, although name brand, are not always the same quality available to contractors. Also, many product warranties become void by improper installation.
  • Plus, does it really pay to do a job twice when you can pay a professional to do it once?
  • It’s easy to look at the cost of hiring a professional remodeler and think only of labor and materials. But remember they have things  you don’t – years of experience, the right tools, a network of suppliers and subcontractors, and an in-depth understanding of legal regulations, scheduling, and the latest construction techniques and materials.

Safety

And while we’re talking about costs, is a DIY project really worth your safety? Without the proper training and preparation, a DIYer can and has landed in the emergency room.

  • Unfamiliarity with new tools and techniques can lead to life-threatening accidents. Plus, many DIYers don’t have the proper safety equipment.
  • A good rule of thumb for any home owner is to avoid projects that require a license. This often includes electrical, plumbing, and structural changes to walls, roofs and floors. You run the risk of compromising the structural integrity of your home and having a large hole in your roof or floor.
  • Even projects that appear simple like laying floor tile can result in you stubbing your toes every time you are in that room if improperly installed.

Time

DIYers often start home improvement projects before a holiday or event to showcase the results to family and friends. But unless you have tackled this project before, it’s hard to determine how long it will really take you.

  • When something goes wrong, there’s no one to hold to the deadline but you. Do you really want to be up all hours of the night trying to get the kitchen done in time for Susie’s graduation party? Or worse, do you want a feud over who’s fault it is that the family will be spending Christmas in a construction zone? Hiring a professional will ensure you have a contract with a completion date and that the remodeler will bring in whatever help is necessary to get the job finished on time.
  • Even professional remodelers sometimes need extra time on projects when they find surprises behind walls. Troubleshooting these issues often takes more time and expertise than originally planned.
  •  Plus, consider how much your time is worth. Is it really worth taking time away from your family, your job or your sleep to spend on a project?

There are some home projects DIYers can – and should – tackle such as hanging pictures, interior painting, caulking, changing door knobs and cabinet pulls, and some aesthetic work depending on skill level. Just consider the safety risks, time and cost involved in a DIY project of any size.

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