If you’re a handy homeowner, the idea of contributing to your home remodeling project may be an appealing prospect. You also might expect to save a bit of money on your project that way.
Depending on your skill-level, there are certain renovations you can safely take on yourself, or even portions of larger projects for which you are also using a professional. Doing so is a way to pour a bit of sweat equity into your beloved home in Eastern Michigan and make it even more your own.
What Renovations Can I Do Myself?
If you’re merely wanting to touch up paint in a given room, install a new appliance in your kitchen or do minor repairs in your bathroom, there’s a good chance you can efficiently and cost-effectively execute those projects with your own handy skills. For a more dramatic upgrade, you’ll want to think carefully about whether doing the work yourself will yield the results you want, especially while staying on budget.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you deciding to DIY on a home renovation project in Michigan:
- How long will the project take? Do you have time to finish the task?
- What are the remodeling costs involved to DIY versus using a professional?
- Do you have the necessary background knowledge or instructions to finish the project?
- Do you possess the patience and determination to finish what you begin?
- Do you have access to the materials, tools and equipment you need to the project right?
- Do you need to get permits for the project and do you know how to do so?
- Does your project have a set deadline?
- Will the work interfere with your daily routine or inconvenience your family?
Exploring the answers to these and other questions will help you determine whether it’s worth striking up a DIY remodel or if you should call in the professionals.
DIY vs Professional Home Remodeling
The remodeling jobs that are a good fit for DIY projects may vary based on your experience and construction-related skills. In general, here are a few ways you can help your general contractor with remodeling:
1. Sourcing Materials
If you’d like to contribute personally to your kitchen remodel, basement conversion or bathroom upgrade, speak to your contractor about helping source materials and appliances. Make sure you get the right measurements so you don’t create waste. Collaborate with your remodeler, as they may have a more cost-effective source for their inventory. However, if you enjoy bargain-hunting or you have an in with a supplier, this can be a fun and effective way for hands-on participation in your home remodel.
2. Wall Treatments
In general, painting is the ideal project for DIY renovating. It requires minimal equipment and more patience and persistence than actual skills. Plus, repainting a kitchen, bathroom or other space in your home is a critical part of making it look fresh and new. It tends to be near the end of the remodel, so you won’t delay progress if you take your time. These days, you can also find wallpaper that is easy to install, if that’s more your style. Like painting, wallpapering is a detail-oriented task that goes smoother with a second set of hands.
3. Replacing Hardware and Small Fixtures
Other tasks that involve minimal tools and past experience include updating the hardware in your kitchen or bathroom and installing small fixtures, like towel racks and curtains. These are relatively inexpensive upgrades and can easily be fixed if something goes wrong.
When it comes to level of complexity, safety guidelines and cost vs. benefits, here are a few renovation jobs that are better left to professional contractors:
Demolition is typically the first step of a renovation after you’ve got the site prepped. While it may seem easy, it requires precision and caution to make sure you don’t hurt yourself or others and that you don’t accidentally damage any parts of the space that you wanted to preserve. There’s also the question of debris. You have to make arrangements for disposing of the waste you create, and your general contractor is better positioned to assume that responsibility.
2. Plumbing and Electrical
Even general contractors call in specialized tradespeople to assist with installing new electrical lines or rerouting pipes within your plumbing system. Additionally, you should leave any heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) work to the pros. First, these are costly tasks with serious repercussions if done incorrectly. They also must be up to code to pass inspection with your local building authority for your home remodel to progress.
3. Flooring and Tilework
Flooring is another task homeowner may consider for a DIY project. However, installing a floor is a complex project, especially if you’re working with carpet, tile or hardwood. Materials must be measured and cut precisely. Also, there is a significant amount of prep work involved. If you make mistakes, you’ll have to pay your contractor to go back and redo the project, which is a waste of time and material. Plus, you end up paying for them to do the job anyway. The same goes for tile-work in your bathroom or kitchen. It’s more cost-effective and less stressful to have the job done right the first time by using a professional builder.
Remodeling your home in Eastern Michigan is a complex project, not to mention a significant investment. As you assess how to contribute your handiwork to the job, keep in mind your general contractor is making an effort to plan, organize and execute your remodel in a cost-effective and timely manner with a variety of tradespeople, subcontractors and suppliers. It’s best to contribute your skills near the end of the project, when there’s less risk of creating a delay.
Working with Professional Home Remodelers in Fenton
When you’re remodeling your beloved home in Fenton or the surrounding areas, it’s natural to want to be contribute what you can to the project. At Top Choice Builders, we involve you during the design phase of your home makeover to ensure we achieve your vision in terms of the layout and style. Our goal is not to make decisions for you, but to give you the guidance and information you need as you choose the features and materials you’ll be living with for the next several years.
“DIY vs. professional renovation: What to tackle yourself and what to leave to the pros.” Curbed. Accessed online at https://archive.curbed.com/2016/5/2/11459072/diy-renovating-professional-contractor