Professional or DIY Home Improvement? Things to Consider
Many homeowners like to do their own home improvements. Some do it to save money, others because they enjoy taking care of their own property. While saving money and taking pride in home maintenance is a good thing, some projects are not appropriate for an unlicensed, inexperienced homeowner. If you're a homeowner who is thinking about taking on a home improvement project, knowing the limits of your abilities and when to contact a professional can help ensure that your home will be well cared for and well maintained.
Can You Do It Right?
Some jobs, when done without knowledge or expertise, can result in damage to the property. For example, any home improvement project involving plumbing or roofing material can result in water damage if done incorrectly. Pipes that are improperly plumbed can leak or burst, while a roof that is repaired incorrectly can cause a leak, leading to damage in the walls, ceiling and even the rafters of the home. Furthermore, electrical work that is improperly completed can cause fires or may result in burnt-out appliances.
While some homeowners are able to correctly make small repairs to their plumbing, roof and electrical system, many others cannot. Homeowners who are not professionally trained or who do not have complete confidence in their own abilities should consult with a professional before getting started with a project.
Can You Do It Safely?
Safety should be a top priority for anyone trying to decide whether or not to take on a home improvement project. When trying to decide whether or not a project can be done safely, ask yourself these important questions:
- Do you have proper safety equipment?
- Do you have enough help?
- Do you have the right tools?
Inexperienced homeowners who want to make their own home repairs often do so by taking on one small project at a time. Doing basic projects (painting and clog removal, for example) can lead to greater knowledge of the way systems of the home function. From these easy projects, many homeowners take on bigger projects (like basic electrical work and plumbing repair). For example, if you want to make your home wheelchair accessible, you may want to start with installing grab bars in the bathroom before moving on to more complicated tasks like widening doorways.
Do Research Before Beginning A Project
Before deciding to complete any project, it's a good idea to do a little research. Answer all of the following questions before getting started:
- Which tools are required?
- What can go wrong?
- Where is the work performed?
- How does the work start?
- What challenges will you face throughout the project?
- What is the most difficult part of this process?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can decide for yourself whether or not you can handle a project on your own.
Know When to Get Help
Working with a general contractor or repair person is the best way to ensure that the work done on your house is done right the first time. To get started on a home improvement project that you're not sure you can manage, contact a reputable contractor or repair person in the South Bay area.