Deciding whether to DIY a remodeling project or leave it to a professional is a matter of weighing the risks and rewards, time, and budget. Before you start applying a new coat of paint or go about knocking down a wall, create a plan for your remodel to help you decide which projects you can handle, and which ones belong in the hands of a pro.
Create Your Remodeling Plan
Knowing your plans for your remodel will help to determine your timeline and budget, which will inform your DIY-vs-Pro decision making. Set specific goals for each project so you’ll know when you’re getting off track but remain flexible in your planning to leave room for any unexpected hurdles that will inevitably pop up in the remodeling process. Your budget will also help you decide who should execute certain projects. For example, if you’re budgeting more for a kitchen remodel than any other project, that is a likely candidate for professional help.
If you’re having trouble deciding the best route to take with your remodeling projects, ask yourself the following questions:
- What risks am I comfortable taking on?
- How much time am I willing to dedicate to this project?
- Does this project require a permit?
- Do I have any experience with this kind of remodel?
- Am I comfortable giving up control of this project?
DIY Remodeling Pros and Cons
Pros: Taking a DIY approach to remodeling projects pays dividends in many ways. Without having to pay labor costs, you stand to save significant money by tackling a project on your own. Going DIY also allows you to set your own schedule for the project. And of course, the sense of ownership and pride you will feel knowing you completed the project on your own is a priceless feeling for a homeowner.
Cons: DIY projects can be consequential. Mistakes at any point in the renovation process can lead to greater costs and sometimes, hiring a professional to fix the mistake. Unfortunately, this can result in the loss of significant time and money.
Professional Remodeling Pros and Cons
Pros: Professionals are inherently more experienced, bringing their specialization to the table on every home renovation project, so you can expect them to perform high-quality work that will increase the value of your home.
Cons: Getting professional quality work means paying for it. When budgeting, expect higher costs for any project you’re thinking of outsourcing to a pro. Bear in mind that, especially for large-scale renovation projects, your home will become a construction site. Accordingly, you may need a back-up plan, such as a temporary kitchen set-up or a short-term rental home.
DIY Remodeling vs Professional Remodeling: Around the House
The following list breaks down which projects are typical DIY candidates and which ones homeowners commonly opt for professional help to complete. However, the decision is ultimately up to you. If you have your heart on tackling a project on your own, gather your tools and make it happen!
- Professional: Any large-scale structural changes, new gas lines, or new plumbing projects should be handled by a professional.
- DIY: Simpler kitchen projects like a backsplash or faucet replacement and any cabinet finishing tasks are perfect DIY candidates.
- Professional: Plumbing installation, running electricity, or any projects involving an expansion or alteration to your bathroom structure.
- DIY: If your bathroom is simply in need of some new tile work, basic medicine cabinet restoration, or minor flooring improvements, roll up your sleeves and DIY.
- Professional: Consider hiring a professional for any significant outdoor projects like concrete builds, in-ground pools, and technical deck work.
- DIY: Common backyard DIY projects include building a garden tool shed, building a fence, and refinishing a deck.
- Professional: It is best to hire pros for new roofing, any foundation work, and extensive demolition projects. For asbestos and drywall finishing, it’s easiest, and safest, to go with the pros.
- DIY: Any interior painting projects, basic electrical work, or simple trim and door upgrades.
If you’re planning on going through a remodel while you live at home, read this first. For more information on how certain renovations may impact the value of your home, talk to your Windermere agent.