Is It A Good Decision to Select A Remodeling Contractor or Remodel Yourself?
If you are thinking about remodeling your home, you are likely tempted to take the DIY (do it yourself) route. After all, most DIY remodeling projects are considerably cheaper than paying a professional remodeler to do the job on your behalf. However, there are some downsides to taking on a project of this magnitude and complexity without expert assistance. Let’s take a look at whether it is better to hire a remodeling contractor or do the work on your own.
Start With Pen and Paper
Take a moment to write down the remodeling project’s “to do” list. This is your opportunity to document everything the remodeling project will entail. Write down the amount of time it is likely take to complete the project, the materials necessary to do the work and the cost of those materials. Write down what it would cost to pay a professional remodeler to do the work on your behalf as a point of comparison.
If the renovation is particularly expansive, it will likely be necessary to hire an inspector to check out your home’s systems, let you know if urgent repairs are required and help prepare for the work. Once you understand the true scope of the project, the phases necessary for completion and the total cost, you will have a better idea of whether it is prudent to do the work on your own or outsource it to a remodeling contractor.
The DIY Route
Take the DIY route and you will be tasked with buying all the necessary materials on your own. It might not be necessary to pay full price at a big box home improvement store for every single material necessary to get the job done. Check out antique stores, flea markets and other stores outside of Home Depot/Lowe’s and you just might find the necessary materials at a considerably lower price. The complexity of the project in question determines if you can do it all on your own.
Even if you can find all the materials required to get the job done, you still might need to consult with an expert for guidance. In particular, it will help to ask an experienced contractor or architect for assistance in selecting material size and quantity. One of the more common DIY home remodeling mistakes is failing to order enough of the materials necessary for the project. However, if the remodeling project is relatively minor such as updating part of the bathroom or a spare room in the home, you might be able to do all the work on your own without outside help. As an example, light demolition can be done on your own. The removal of undesired tile, cabinets, floorboards, moldings, carpeting and/or fixtures is a DIY project as opposed to comparably difficult structural work that requires the knowledge and experience of a professional contractor.
When to Lean on the Professionals
If structural repairs or improvements to your home are necessary, do not assume you can do it all on your own. A remodeling project of this magnitude will require the assistance of an experienced contractor. Particularly older homes are likely to endure considerable structural wear that will require an upgrade by a qualified contractor or a structural engineer. Another example is the removal of asbestos amidst a renovation. Lean on a professional to remove this harmful material rather than attempting to do it on your own. Furthermore, remodeling projects that require electric, plumbing or gas work will necessitate the assistance of a savvy contractor with years of experience under his belt to ensure the job is done right.
When in Doubt, Hire a Professional
As is often said, it is better to be safe rather than sorry. Unless you are good with your hands and have handled similar projects in the past, you might be better served by outsourcing the work to an experienced contractor. However, if you have an abundance of free time and dread the idea of paying another person to work on your home, it is possible to pull off a successful DIY home remodeling project. If you absolutely insist on the DIY route, perform extensive research beforehand. Look up the phone numbers of a couple trusted local remodeling professionals just in case your DIY attempt goes awry and you need guidance from an experienced contractor.