February 7th, 2011
The 3 Biggest Home Remodeling DIY Downfalls
Thanks to shows on HGTV, DIY Network, A&E and TLC, ambitious homeowners from the Atlantic to the Pacific are being given the encouragement to tackle home remodeling projects on their own. Though do it yourself-ers can certainly be commended for their aspirations, many fail to recognize the potential roadblocks and downfalls they’ll likely face by attempting home remodeling on their own
Problem #1: Work not done by a home remodeling professional won’t look professional.
Let’s face it, if you’ve never laid tile before and decide the place to learn is on a fancy backsplash you’re installing as part of your kitchen remodeling project, you’d be wise to think again. While most homeowners are perfectly capable of adequately picking up a paintbrush and evenly distributing a coat of paint to their living rooms, the same can’t be said for most parts of a home renovation project, and in the end, the homeowner suffers. Not just because their home remodeling attempts won’t look professionally completed, but also because having to call in a general contractor to fix problems caused by trying to do something yourself often costs even more than having a professional out to handle the work in the first place. Taking this a step further, this problem doesn’t stop with cosmetics. The guts of a home are equally as susceptible to suffering from poor workmanship as are its aesthetics, including plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems. And with these more fragile elements, problems may occur down the road; only to be discovered by a home inspector at the time of sale and costs valuable time, money, and perhaps prevent the sale from happening at all.
Problem #2: With home remodeling, the clock is always ticking.
Although the financial ramifications of having a lingering home improvement project aren’t nearly as significant for homeowners as it is for house flippers, there are still plenty of problems with ongoing home remodeling projects. First of all, how long do you really want your family living in a construction zone? Not only is it an extremely unsafe way to live, but the accompanying characteristics are often hazardous to a person’s health. Starting with dust and ranging to unstable structures and sharp objects, a construction site is not a safe place to call home. The average do it yourself project takes approximately double that of the same remodeling project managed by a general contractor or other home improvement professional, and at the end of a project that drags on many homeowners realize it would be worth the little bit of additional money to get the remodeling completed quickly and without worry.
Problem #3: Don’t try to be a home remodeling hero.
I’ll be the first to commend a homeowner who successful completes a home remodeling project – no matter how big or small (but bonus points for those of you who chose kitchen remodeling or bathroom remodeling). However, many homeowners make the mistake of biting off more than they can chew, get in over their heads, and then still refuse to call a general contractor or home remodeling professional! In particular if you’re trying something for the first time, don’t choose a major renovation or project that will become overwhelming – and if you overestimate your ability don’t be too proud to call in general contractor. These people are paid to do the things you’re trying to do on your own, and while there’s no harm in giving it your best go, be wise about the size and type of remodeling project you choose. Finally, please, get help from a home remodeling professional if you need it. You don’t have anything to hang your head about if you realize halfway (or less) through the renovation you can’t finish it on your own, but at least do yourself (and your wife) the favor of getting help. The end result will be time and cost savings compared to trying to finish the project entirely on your own, and you'll likely learn valuable information from your home remodeler.
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