The month of May houses some great events and activities, like Cinco de Mayo, and the kickoff of gardening season. But it’s not only the month for margaritas and marigolds; May is also National Home Remodeling Month, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers recommends that homeowners consider the safety risks, time delays and hidden costs before attempting do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvements.
According to HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau, homeowner DIY projects accounted for 37 percent of all home remodeling projects performed nationwide from 2010-2011. While many projects look manageable at first glance, there are many points to consider when determining the “real” cost generated on a project.
“Remodeling can be complex and often times full of surprises, even for experts like our members,” says NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bill Shaw, GMR, GMB, CGP, a remodeler from Houston. “DIY projects should be rewarding and fun, but if your DIY can’t be completed in the planned price range or your safety is at risk, leave the work in the hands of professional remodelers.”
Review the following considerations before sinking resources into a DIY home remodel:
Hidden Costs – Many of the products purchased for the DIY market, although designated by a name brand, are not always the same quality available to contractors. It is also important to verify the terms of the product warranty. Many warranties become void by improper installation.
Safety – Without the proper training and preparation, a DIYer can, and has, landed in the emergency room. Unfamiliarity with new tools and techniques can lead to life-threatening accidents. A good rule of thumb for any home owner is to avoid projects that require a license or structural changes to walls, roofs and floors.
Time – Troubleshooting unexpected issues often takes more time and expertise than originally planned. Hiring a professional will ensure that you have a contract with a completion date and that the remodeler will bring in whatever help is necessary to get the job finished on time.