Should You Hire a Pro Or DIY?
There's a lot to be said about DIY home improvement projects—they're usually cheaper, give you more creative freedom, and can make your home look great. Yet, there are a handful of projects that you shouldn't take on unless you have a deep background in construction and design. Instead, reach out to a contractor or designer to help create the perfect final product. From painting your home's exterior to installing new flooring or plumbing, some things are best left to the contractors and interior design experts. By attempting to make these renovations on your own, you could put your home and health at risk.
In this article, we'll quickly explain just a few home improvement projects that you should outsource to people who know what they're doing.
Structural Design Work
Unless you have a keen eye and an understanding of your home's structural layout, design work should be left to a pro. This includes tasks like restructuring or removing walls, installing a new bedroom, or anything related to the roof or exterior of your home. Structural design work is complex, and even small mistakes can have major consequences. For example, if you remove a load-bearing wall without properly supporting the roof, you could cause your home to collapse. If you plan to sell your house with foundation issues down the road, it's possible that buyers will be scared away from the structural damages. Tread lightly when considering a home improvement project that involves structural design work.
Additionally, design work often requires permits, which can be very difficult to obtain on your own. If you don't have the proper permits, you could be fined or even forced to tear down your home's additions. To avoid any potential problems, it's best to reach out to a professional designer before starting any structural design projects. The last thing you want to deal with is a code violation tied to your property from the city.
Plumbing and Electrical Work
Plumbing and electrical work are two of the most common areas where homeowners make serious mistakes. Without the proper training, it's very easy to cause significant damage to your home's electrical grid and plumbing systems, which can be incredibly expensive to repair.
Additionally, both plumbing and electrical work can be dangerous. If you make a mistake, you could easily hurt yourself or start a fire. As a general rule, you should always contact a professional whenever you need to do any work on your home's plumbing or electrical systems, including your lighting systems. Failing to do so could cause harm to you and your family and leave you several thousand dollars out of pocket.
Major Home Renovations
Major home renovations are another area where it's best to contact a professional. These projects can be extremely complex, and they often require specialized knowledge and tools. For example, if you're planning a kitchen renovation, you'll need to know how to properly install cabinets, countertops, and appliances. You'll also need to have a good understanding of plumbing and electrical work. If you don't, you could easily make a mistake that will be very costly to fix.
All jobs are going to come with some degree of risk, but the odds rise and fall depending on the outcome the homeowner wants. From faulty wiring to unsecured beams in the attic, no home is immune from these kinds of dangerous surprises. One thing that even the most seasoned DIY'ers won't do is work with garage door springs. The tension they're under can spell big trouble for an unsuspecting tinkerer.
Additionally, major home renovations can be very disruptive and require proper licensing. If you're not prepared to deal with the mess and the regulations, you might want to reach out to a contractor who can handle the project for you.
Replacing Hardwood Floors
To look at it, replacing hardwood floors seems like an easy job, but if you've ever watched a team of contractors tear out and replace wooden flooring, you know how complicated it can be. Hardwood floors are usually glued or nailed into the foundation of your home, making them incredibly difficult to remove without splintering or damaging the underlying floor. Additionally, it takes a careful eye and close measurements to line up the wooden panels to fit a space perfectly. One small mistake can cause the floor to look off-center or shoddily constructed. Therefore, it's best to contact a trained flooring expert to remove old or damaged wooden flooring.
Projects That Could Result in Neighbourhood Pushback
Tackling a huge project without the help of a professional is going to be exceptionally fulfilling (and maybe even really fun!). But local officials may not be as excited to find out about your plans. This is because what a homeowner does or doesn't do can have far-reaching consequences. Let's say a homeowner works on patching up a pipe one day, but they make a mistake and cause their neighbour's bathroom to flood.
Or they cause a tiny water leak in the home that goes undiscovered for years, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of water damage. Each neighbourhood has its own policies, so homeowners need to check first if they need a permit before moving forward with any improvements or repairs. Some neighbourhoods even require the homeowner to hire a professional first before getting started.
Projects That Cost More to DIY Than Contract
Sometimes a DIY job just costs the homeowner more resources than if they were to hire a professional. Supplies and permits aren't exactly cheap, and many homes are far more complicated once the homeowner gets knee-deep into the project. So no matter how easy that online video makes the process look, each home presents its own unique challenges that some homeowners aren't prepared to handle.
Because this is more complex than painting your home, the best thing to do is to call around to different contractors. Most will give their rates without charging anything. They may come to the house for free, and give a homeowner (hopefully) honest advice about why they should or shouldn't do it on their own. Estimate how much time and money it will take to complete the job, and see what the hourly wage stacks up to against the cost of a pro.
Make the Right Choice For Your Home Improvement
Although DIY home improvement projects can help increase your home's resale value, some projects are best left to the professionals. When you're ready to sell your home in the future, buyers will appreciate the level of craftsmanship that went into the repairs and pay more for your investment. Small details go a long way with certain home buyers. Trust in professional real estate designers for these home improvement projects to help maintain your home's value and overall appeal.