DIY remodeling can be fun, although it is a lot of work. If you think you have what it takes to transform the kitchen or the bathroom into the room of your dreams, why shouldn’t you go for it?
But are you aware of what (exactly) it takes?
Maybe you have built a treehouse; maybe you are a loyal customer of Home Depot and Ace Hardware; maybe you easily and naturally fix things in the house. Do handyman skills suffice to do a contractor’s job?
DIY Remodeling: the pros and cons tend to blend
Budget: doing it yourself may seem like a good way to save money. But if you run into technical difficulties, your budget could explode.If you are not a professional, fixing unforeseen problems is challenging. When it comes to electricity and plumbing, for example, DIY remodeling is risky.
Structural issues are a delicate matter as well: can you tell if a wall is a bearing wall? When in doubt, leave it. But wouldn’t that mean your dream room is already subject to compromises?
Convenience: DIY remodeling is convenient. You are in control of the timeline and your house is not invaded by strangers for weeks. Are you ready to sacrifice weekends and evenings to make good progress? Or will you eventually slow down and get over it? How will you feel about living without a functional kitchen or bathroom for too long?
Remodeling is also messy, there is no way around it. Dust, dirt, bits and pieces, house in shambles. Where is the convenience if you spend hours cleaning?
Skills: you may be convinced you can remodel on your own (or with the help of a few friends). Videos make it look easy. How-to-classes give a crash course in drywalling, but have you ever done it outside of a group? Think of how long it would take to get the seams just right, how many times professionals have done it so they could attain that smooth finish.
The same goes for building a wall that’s not crooked. Or simply tiling. How do you manage the cuts? How skilled are you at grouting? (it’s a lot harder than it looks). And consider baseboards… You’ll need to do a bit of math and visualization to get the corners just right (if they are not 90º, it gets tricky).
Materials and equipment: materials are often a big portion of a budget, so you think DIY remodeling eliminates the middleman. But do you have access to the materials you want? Do you maintain a relationship with suppliers or cabinet makers?
Equipment is another part of a DIY remodeling project that you need to consider. Even though you may possess some power tools, are they adapted to the work? Nail gun (and air compressor), tile cutter (wet tile cutter… in some cases a hand cutter won’t make a dent), sawzall, a drill powerful enough to mix mortar, dry vac, table saw… DIY remodeling could be your excuse to go shopping for new tools, but the budget will suffer from it. How often will you use them once the project is done?
What remodeling contractors can do that we can’t
Remodeling contractors provide much more than access to materials. They provide craftsmanship and skills acquired over years. What would take days for a DIY remodeler to accomplish can be done in half the time, thanks to experience and planning. That aspect alone adds to the convenience factor: efficient project management means the disruption to your life is kept to the strict necessary.
Professionals also know and see things that we don’t. Functionality, creative ways to integrate elements, possible complications before they arise. They know how to draw plans, they can take care of permits.
They know how to manage a schedule and perform tasks in the right order so the project is not delayed. Ultimately, they can stay on budget better than we can, deliver a project the exact way we wanted with no mishap, no unsightly default and on time.
DIY remodeling can certainly be highly rewarding. The satisfaction of a finished product done on our own is exhilarating… except when the result is not quite as perfect as we had imagined.
Before jumping into a house renovation by yourself, carefully weigh the pros and con. Honestly map out what you know and what you don’t. Make an inventory of your resources in terms of time and equipment. Consider your options.For the aspects of the project where you are not proficient enough, you can always spend a little time with the contractors and learn from them.
As a full-service construction and remodeling company in San Diego, Collom Construction possesses the resources necessary for a successful project. We deliver products of quality craftsmanship and work with you to meet your needs and respect your budget.
Give us a call today to set up an appointment for a free quote.