When diving into the realm of home improvements there’s no telling what you’ll get yourself into. Any number of things could happen throughout the process. Busted pipe, faulty wiring, paint spills. One thing you can bank on, however, is that it’s going to hit you right square in the piggy bank. The high cost of home improvements often lead wondering homeowners to their options in DIY. Sure, it’s a great way to save some cash in what will inevitably be an expensive endeavor, but there’s also the potential to harm more than help if you take on a job that’s too lofty for the Average Joe. That doesn’t mean you have to hire professionals for every single job. To clarify a few things for you, here’s a handy list of jobs you can handle yourself and tasks you should leave to the pros.
Let’s start with the basics. When your home transformation involves any utility you are much better off calling the professionals and getting bids and advice. Some things you can handle like replacing the seat or chain for your toilet or swapping out a light fixture. Other things should never be attempted by an amateur, such as moving or adding outlets and light switches. The more intense the job, though, the more likely you are to screw things up and the cost to fix your mistake can end up totaling more than you were trying to save by doing it yourself.
General Rule Of Thumb: If you need training and/or certification to be a career professional in a particular field, then you should hire a trained and certified professional for the job.
Working from the ground up floors are also dependent on the job. If the sub-flooring is up to snuff and you just need to add the top layer, this job could be done by you. In fact, many flooring products are being made with the specific aim of easy installation any homeowner could undertake. If there are issues with the sub-floor or your foundation isn’t level, it would be best to leave it to the pros.
Other jobs are better off in professional hands because the labor is so intense. Take laying carpet, for example. It seems easy enough, but the weight of the carpet and the strength you need behind that hammer to lay it flat without any air pockets will be installed much easier for someone who has experience doing it than you. Even if you bench 200. Don’t risk the injury. Take advantage of installation offers from the suppliers and let them handle it.
Countertops And Cabinetry
Again, seemingly easy enough, but the materials are incredibly heavy and expensive and all too easy to mess up. If you’re installing a natural stone like marble or granite, it’ll need to be properly measured and cut with specific machinery to fit the dimensions of your room like perfect puzzle pieces. For cabinetry, you can swap out the handles for your doors and drawers and slap a new coat of paint on them in a day. But installation requires precision and care. Let this one be, friend.
Drywall, Paint, and Wallpaper
It will be a lot of tedious work, but you can manage! Painting and wallpapering both require attention to detail and a very careful eye for drips, bubbles, and an overall smooth, finished product. It will take time to be so meticulous, but you can save some serious dough tackling this job which is well within anyone’s skill set. Just be sure to take care in preparing the room before commencing work and read all directions carefully. Pick up whatever tips you can from websites like this to ensure your job comes out looking like a professional did it.
Expect to be tired and sore by the end of the day, but if you feel confident in your strength and abilities, then go for it! Soreness and fatigue is nothing a nice soak in an epsom salt bath can’t handle. A word of caution, though; if your demolition includes knocking down walls and tearing out floors, get a professional to inspect the structure of your house first to identify load bearing walls, plumbing and electrical lines. The absolute last thing you want is to accidentally damage any of these major bugaboos in the hammer swinging process. But this is why hiring the pros and letting them handle the work usually pays off; liability. Most contractors have liability and workers comp insurance, so if there’s an injury or accident such as this it is covered, taken care of, and not your responsibility.
Home improvements are wise investments, but need plenty of care and attention. You can certainly participate in as much as you feel comfortable doing. Visions of grandeur and an overestimation of your skills can backfire on you, though. Proceed with caution and common sense.