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DIY Home Renovations: When is it a Good Idea?

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With home costs high and many Americans looking for more hands-on projects, Do-It-Yourself or DIY home renovations are becoming an increasingly popular option. However, caught up in the fervor to get started on their next big DIY project, some homeowners don’t realize the potential risks of going the DIY route. By doing major home renovations on your own, you could potentially lose a lot of money if the project isn’t done right

Doing a renovation yourself can be a great way for many homeowners to save money and increase the value of their home. However, the wise homeowner understands his or her own limitations and has to know where to draw the line and hire a professional. Here are three tests that you can apply to your own project to help you decide whether or not DIY home renovation is the right path for you.

Does the Project Require Absolute Precision?

Think about the first time you tried to throw a ball. You probably missed your intended target by quite a bit and wondered how professional athletes could throw a ball over a hundred feet and still have it sail cleanly into the receiver’s hands. The answer is practice, and the same applies to accuracy in virtually any undertaking. It’s tough news to hear, but if your try to install something like new windows or doors on your own, your margin for error is fairly slim. For some homeowners, this is a minor inconvenience. Plenty of homes get by with a solid inch or two under newly installed doors and that may be fine for them.

However, open seams from improperly fitted renovations can cost you big when it comes to heating and cooling in your home. Any opening, however tiny, is pure unfiltered access to the elements. By making a wise choice and getting professional help when accuracy is paramount you may incur a slightly higher cost at the outset, but you will almost certainly save money over time.

Does the Project Involve Your Home’s Inner Workings?

Electricity and plumbing in your home are like the nervous system in your body: essential, interlinked, and a bit confusing. They’re also tough to get at without causing some damage. Digging around in the walls of your home can lead to serious destruction and safety concerns if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Instead of tearing out your walls just to install a new tub or shower it may be wise to sit this one out. A professional installation will leave everything clean and intact when the job is done.

Is There Serious Heavy Lifting Required?

This doesn’t get talked about enough, but knowledge and experience are not the only reasons to hire your home renovations out. Sometimes it’s a good idea to just let someone else do the hard, backbreaking work. When doing something that requires heavy lifting like installing a new furnace or air conditioning unit the best case scenario is that you’re too worn out to complete the project in a timely fashion. The worst case is that you’re in the hospital after seriously injuring yourself.

Professionals have the technique and tools required to move heavy objects around, but even they don’t get away without some injuries. Don’t put yourself in danger. Do the smart thing here and let someone else bear the load.

Which DIY Home Renovation is a Good Idea?

Sometimes getting your hands dirty really is a great way to save money and see your vision through to the end. Good candidates for DIY projects include surface-level aesthetic renovations, good old-fashioned hammer and nail work, and smaller, less technical parts of larger projects. 

The DIY home renovation approach is a great choice for some projects, but trying it on the wrong sorts of renovations can cause serious damage to your home or your body. Know the difference before you start work on your home and things will turn out better in the long run. If you’re not quite sure, get a free estimate first and then decide if it’s worth it to DIY your renovation.