Do It Yourself Remodeling and Construction

Ask anyone on the street whether they want to save money on their next home improvement project and nine times out of ten, they will say that saving money on a remodel is a high priority or determining factor in their project decision making.  Enter the do-it-yourselfer (DIYer).

The theory is sound—do as much of the project yourself and you’ll save on labor and overhead & profit from the contractor.  The problem is, rarely do these arrangements go as planned.  Many contractors won’t accept a project that is already started or parceled out; it can create confusion or inconsistency of deliverables, so you may be stuck with more than you want to perform, or a higher cost than anticipated if part of the project was performed incorrectly.

DIY Can Be Dangerous

I recently heard a story of a homeowner who purchased their home nearly a decade ago after a kitchen remodel was self-performed by the prior owner, moving a wall to open up the space.  The finished product looked good, however there was a crack in the ceiling in one corner.  Year after year the crack was patched and painted, but continued to reappear and even grow.

Recently, that homeowner hired a professional to open up the ceiling to perform a thorough repair only to find the header beam had split in half due to the additional strain from the moved wall, making a quick fix anything but.  The “home improvement” project ended up becoming a “home repair” project, as it impacted the structural integrity of the building.

Great DIY Projects

Not all do-it-yourself projects are overwhelming, and to some, improving your home’s aesthetics and value is a passion.  Some great do-it-yourself projects include:

  • Rehabbing the bathroom
  • Trim/Finish Work – Crown moulding, wainscot, and baseboards
  • Replacing cabinetry
  • Repainting/ wall-papering
  • Replacing interior doors
  • Replacing exterior doors and windows

Ultimately, it’s always best to ask a professional’s opinion before embarking on a project that’s expected to last more than an afternoon.  If you choose to hire a contractor, when looking for the right contractor to work with, be sure to ask if they’re insured and bonded, and get their contractor’s license.

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