Welcome to the new world of online DIY projects promoted on YouTube and a wide variety of home improvement websites. Now when you want to do something “minor” or even “major” in your home you merely need to go to one of the social media sources to look it up and get step-by-step instructions or watch a video. It seems so simple to do what they tell you, follow the pros’ “easy” instructions and 1-2-3 your project is perfectly executed, just as if you had had a professional do it! Are you sure?
Of course, some home projects don’t require very much expertise, and could be accomplished by a lay person in relatively few hours with little chance of mistakes. For instance, many people could probably paint a room by selecting the color and finish they like, priming the walls and painting – then voila! Your room is completed in a few hours with a pretty decent result. Perhaps you could even hang some wallpaper, which isn’t too hard with a pro’s direction, if the walls are prepared properly and your materials purchased and ready to go in advance.
As we all know most home remodeling or decorating tasks require some materials and at least basic skills. Remodeling a kitchen or bath however, is a whole other ballgame. You know how easy it seems when at the end of every program or YouTube video the kitchen or bath is perfectly remodeled and so you are thinking, ‘how tough could it be to DIY remodel MY kitchen or bath’? Well, we’re here to tell you that you might want to think twice before starting something like that unless you have some significant experience.
Keep in mind that kitchen and bath remodels are pretty complicated as they almost always include tasks like demo-ing your old kitchen or bath, doing electrical and plumbing work, putting up drywall, doing some carpentry, measuring for countertops and/or flooring, setting tile, painting, and much more. Let’s not forget that all of these “trades” often take years of apprenticeships and certifications to master…not just a few minutes of watching a DIY video.
Plus, when you do the work yourself you may be infringing on local codes requiring permits or work needing to be done by a licensed craftsman, not to mention that electrical and plumbing errors could cause fire or water damage and impact the eventual sale of your home or other serious issues in the future.
And not the least of all, what happens when you make a mistake measuring your cabinets, your flooring, your countertop? Once those come into your home you have no recourse if you’ve goofed! Who are you going to turn to when you can’t fit the cabinets into the space you thought you measured exactly or the granite countertop has been cut to your specs and now doesn’t fit?
The success of a remodeling project requires planning not only for the purchase or rental of tools neeed for each of the specific tasks, but also the proper sequence in which to perform these numerous tasks. Without knowing these things your project will take much longer and could cost a great deal of money to complete. And if you’re trying to be your own general contractor by hiring individual sub-contractors, be prepared to face scheduling and coordination problems and possibly even some in-fighting amongst your subs. By using professional a remodeler and/or contractor who knows what they’re doing, you are assured that your job will be done correctly in a timely manner, saving you anxiety, time, money and probably several “family discussions” with your significant other!
In summary, although doing a large DIY project may sound very exciting, and even fun — especially when you put pencil to paper and you think you’re saving thousands of dollars by doing it yourself — there are just too many things that can go wrong and many costs you won’t have anticipated. Although the concept of saving money by performing the work yourself is very appealing, if you haven’t done at least some of these tasks before and think you can learn as you go from a DIY site, you could be in for a really rude surprise. If you don’t have remodeling or contracting experience, the probability is your DIY project could turn into a DIY disaster! Is it worth it in the long run? We don’t think so.
Sometimes it’s just better to leave it to the pros. Then you can kick back and watch a game on your new 65” Smart TV while your kitchen, bath, laundry room, (you fill in the blank), gets done for you!