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Do’s and Dont’s for Do-it-Yourself Remodeling

According to HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau, in recent years home owner do-it-yourself (DIY) projects accounted for 37 percent of all home remodeling projects performed nationwide.  The growing popularity of cable television channels with programming dedicated to home improvement including HGTV and the DIY Network, as well as the financial pressure of the economic downturn, may be inspiring home owners to take on home fixes and decorating challenges on their own.

However, it is important that home owners consider the safety risks, time delays and hidden costs before attempting DIY home improvements. Remodeling industry professionals report that about 30 percent of their work comes from fixing DIY debacles.

“A home owner should consider the worst case scenario of the DIY project they want to complete and ask, ‘If this happens, will I be able to fix it?”.  “If there is any doubt, hire a professional remodeler.”

Consumers are cautioned not to take on more than they are capable of doing both in terms of time and skill. There are relatively simple home projects that professional remodelers believe can be completed by DIYers such as hanging pictures, interior painting, caulking, and changing door knobs and cabinet pulls; and home owners with the correct tools and a higher skill level should be able to tackle some aesthetic work such as installing crown molding.

But there are many factors home owners need to consider before undertaking a DIY home improvement project, including:

Time – DIY projects often take longer than expected, and trying to complete a project in the evenings or weekends could mean living with a home in disarray for weeks or months. Hiring a professional means you will 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—and to deal with any unexpected issues that come up.

Safety – Without the proper training and preparation, using new tools and techniques can lead to accidents—sometimes life-threatening ones. A home owners needs to seriously consider their skill level and experience before taking on a project that require a license, working with electricity, or making structural changes to walls, roofs and floors.

Hidden Costs – Professional remodelers have all the tools they need to complete the work, while a home owner may need to purchase tools that may only be needed for the one project, then sit around taking up space. Also, if a home owner makes a mistake installing a product, they may void the warranty and have to buy new materials to do it over again.

Remember, DIY projects should be fun and suit your skill level. If they’re not, then consider hiring a professional.