DIY Looks Deceptively Easy (It’s Not)

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Of the millions of Americans that are planning a home remodeling project in the next two years, a whopping 70% of them plan to do all or part of those projects themselves, according to a survey GfK conducted on behalf of MainStreet. But despite the messages projected by popular DIY remodeling programs and internet tutorials, remodeling your home won’t be easy, quick or cheap if you decide to take it on yourself. Here’s why you should always hire a professional to take on major renovation projects.

You’ll Need a Permit

If you’re planning to take down walls, add an extension or change the structural layout of your home in any other way you will need to get a permit (permission) from your local building department. Failure to do so will result in your project being held-up by yards and yards of government red tape. Think you won’t be discovered? Some cities employ housing officers to drive neighborhoods looking for active building projects to check permits.

Yes, you can get a permit yourself, but depending on the permit application guidelines in your city, you’ll need to show the housing office a copy of your blueprints and a detailed work outline that has been signed off by an architect. If your plans meet local building codes you’ll get your permit, but if they don’t you’ll need to go back to the drawing board until you get it right – a very time consuming process for a layman.

You’ll go over your budget

A detailed budget will help keep your costs manageable, but without the benefit of professional expertise and experience you’ll risk running into costly surprises that will stretch your budget. Major renovation projects – especially in older homes – inevitably unearth years of remodeling mistakes that you’ll be required to unravel and fix before you can complete your work. Since most of these curve balls involve plumbing, electricity or structural engineering issues you might find yourself quickly out of your depth and beyond the lessons of a simple YouTube tutorial. Calling in a professional from the start can save you thousands of dollars in mistake-fixing.

Does this scenario sound familiar? You decide to remove the outdated backsplash in your kitchen. You watch a Pinterest tutorial promising an easy removal process, so you buy the tools and safety gear you need and get to work only to find out that removing tile is tougher than you thought and you mangle your walls. The only choice now is to tear the existing drywall down and replace it. Tearing down the drywall, you damage your hardwood floor, and it needs some minor repairs. You finally finish the demolition, hang new drywall, paint and fix the floor. What started out as a $100 job has now swelled to at least five times that amount.

 You’ll run out of time

Your remodeling project will always take longer than you think it will. That’s why professional contractors budget considerably more time into your estimated timeline than you think it needs. If the project outpaces your availability you might find yourself getting ready for work in a half-finished bathroom for weeks. Of course, that’s only if you are lucky enough to still have running water, heat or electricity in your home since these services usually need to be turned off for a short time during a major renovation. Your best bet is to hire a professional and plan your living arrangements (on-site or off) for the duration of the suggested timeline. This is the best way to ensure that your daily routine isn’t interrupted.

When to Call a Professional

DIY projects should be limited to aesthetic improvements that don’t require a permit or advanced technical skills. When it comes to changing the layout of your home, installing major improvements or making dramatic changes you will save yourself time, money and stress by calling a professional for projects that fall into these categories:

  • Layout changes
  • Structural improvements
  • Plumbing work
  • Electrical work
  • HVAC systems
  • Roofing repairs
  • Window replacement

Do you have a remodeling project you’d like to get started on? Palm Brothers Remodeling offers contracting services with designer creativity to help you understand the potential of your living space. Stop into our Kitchen & Bath Showroom to find out how we can help you on your next Naples home remodeling project.



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