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.