In theory, DIY home improvement projects sound great: do it yourself and save a lot of money. In reality, you could be making a costly mistake by doing some projects yourself. Below are a few pitfalls to look out for as a homeowner interested in DIY home improvement projects:
Biting off more than you can chew
It’s not unusual for a small project to become a much larger one. For example, you might attempt to install a garden window in your kitchen only to realize that the exterior siding will need to be fixed afterward. Then, as you replace the damaged siding, you realize the new and the old don’t match and you’re faced with a huge DIY siding job you hadn’t planned on. Licensed contractors can anticipate problems like this before quoting the project, and typically have strategies that contain the scope of the project.
Choosing the wrong materials for the task at hand
Your local big box hardware store with its large selection of materials can be overwhelming. It’s easy to buy on impulse or on price, both of which don’t necessarily take more important considerations into mind such as energy efficiency, durability, or resale value. Licensed contractors can recommend the most appropriate materials for your home, style preferences, and resale value.
Unless you’re an experienced craftsperson, you’ll likely make a few installation mistakes. Some may be cosmetic and others functional. Meanwhile, some DIY mistakes can be downright dangerous if not fatal. Perhaps you can live with a poorly hung interior door, but you could get seriously injured should you fall from the roof while fixing the roofing or installing rain gutters. Either way, are you willing to take these risks or re-do the work? Instead of hiring a licensed contractor to fix your mistakes, consider avoiding mistakes in the first place by starting with a licensed contractor.
Failure to comply with various regulations
As a homeowner, you probably don’t know about every possible regulation affecting residential home improvement projects. No one expects you to — unless you decide to tackle one of these projects. You may be responsible for pulling permits or ensuring that newly installed windows comply with fire safety regulations. Licensed contractors are well aware of local, state, and federal building codes and regulations affecting residential home improvements.
Each of these pitfalls, and many others, can be avoided by working with a licensed contractor for major renovation projects like window and door upgrades, roofing, and home siding repair.