Considering a remodel? Think twice before you DIY

According to new research and a recent New York Post article, the average American home has nine repairs that need to be completed around the house, with 57 percent of homeowners feeling like their home is a work in progress. While it’s understandable that many homeowners do some of their own home repairs or small projects, the professional remodelers, like us who repair DIY’s gone awry, believe that most jobs should be left to the pros.

The desire among homeowners to tackle repair and remodeling projects has risen with the popularity of Pinterest, YouTube, and other DIY and design blogs. Before attempting to recreate the gorgeous bathroom from your Pinterest board in your own home, consider the following before sinking your resources into the project:

Safety. Without the proper training and preparation, a DIYer can and has landed in the emergency room. Unfamiliarity with new tools and techniques can lead to life-threatening accidents. Follow product directions and safety procedures and always use proper safety equipment.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid projects that require a license. Veteran remodelers advise against doing electrical or plumbing work on your own and avoid making structural changes to walls, roofs and floors. You run the risk of compromising the structural integrity of your home and having a large hole in your roof or floor. Leave this work in the hands of professionals with the proper training.

Time. DIYers often tackle larger projects than they can handle, especially right before the holidays so that visiting family can be impressed with the updates. But when something goes wrong, there is no one to hold to the deadline. Hiring a professional will ensure that you have a contract with a completion date and that the remodeler will bring in whatever help is necessary to get the job done in a timely manner.

Even professional remodelers may need extra time on projects when they find surprises behind walls. Troubleshooting these issues often takes more time and expertise than most homeowners have. If timing is a priority for your weekend warrior, call a professional remodeler to get your project completed.

Cost. Purchasing new tools is exciting but consider the price of all the specialty tools used for a one-time project when they are sitting untouched in your garage for a few years.

Additionally, many of the products purchased for the DIY market, although designated by a name brand, are not always the same quality available to contractors. It is also important to verify the terms of the product warranty. Many warranties become void by improper installation.

Irons Brothers Construction President Joseph Irons, GMR, CGR, CAPS, cautions DIYers, “Does it really pay to do the job twice when you can pay a professional to do it once?”

There are some home projects that professional remodelers believe can be tackled by determined DIYers, such as hanging pictures, interior painting, caulking, changing door knobs and cabinet pulls, and some aesthetic work (depending on skill level). Just consider the safety risks, time and cost involved in a DIY project of any size.

Still think you can tackle a big remodeling project? Just remember, DIY projects should be fun and suit your skill level. If they’re not, then consider hiring a professional.

For information about hiring a remodeler, review Irons Brothers Construction’s consumer tips at www.ironsbc.com. You can also visit www.nahb.org/remodel for more information on remodeling.

Melissa Irons, Operations and Showroom Manager, Iron Brothers Construction, Inc.
Melissa Irons, Operations and Showroom Manager, Iron Brothers Construction, Inc.

– By Melissa Irons, CGR CAPS CGP
Operations & Showroom Manager, Irons Brothers Construction, Inc.

(Photos courtesy of Iron Brothers Construction, Inc.)

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