Home renovations

Choosing between DIY or calling in the pros is about assessing your abilities and understanding your expectations of the final results. Do you have the skill to achieve what you want?

You are standing at the threshold of your home, ready to get to that renovation plan you have been working on for a while now. The only question that just doesn’t seem to get answered is, ‘which part of this plan should I DIY and which part should I leave to the pros?’ This is a fairly important question – A+ Construction & Remodeling can save you time and money, as well as ensure that all the effort invested in renovation does not come peeling off the walls or creating bumps in the flooring.

Know when to consider DIY

What you have to assess first is how advanced a DIYer are you? The idea of DIY sounds easy enough, especially considering the number of tutorials that are readily available today. But, what you need to know is if you are comfortable with just painting the walls or wallpapering them too? Does your skill set extend to installing tiles or building a deck from scratch? There is a huge difference in the abilities needed for both, and you need to assess yourself honestly on this. Choose your tasks based on a skill set you are comfortable with.

Next look at whether you have the patience and the willingness to learn a new DIY task when on the job. If you are a serial DIYer and are thinking of upping the game with a home renovation task that you haven’t attempted before, try this new-to-you task only if you have the time on hand to do it slow and get it right. Also, keep in mind that you may have to start from the beginning repeatedly to be able to get things perfect. So the investment in materials will escalate with each iteration. Budget for around five times more, experts suggest.

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Understand your expectations of the finished task. Tutorials are conducted by seasoned DIYers. They know how to rectify most of the unexpected hiccups that may happen in a project. This may not be the case for you. You may end up with a bump here or a patch there. Dive into a project if you are willing to live with these issues that may pop up, and which may not have an easy solution in sight. DIY definitely can be learnt, but it is not something that you will overnight. Know your expectations and proceed accordingly.

As a DIYer, and once you have made an assessment of your skills and expectations, you can consider building fences and sheds, installing shelves, flooring, dry walls and trimmings. Change doors and fixtures as well as vanity replacements and mirrors. Re-face cabinets, replace most appliances as well as faucets in the kitchen and bathroom all tasks you can DIY.

Choose partial DIY

If you are planning Home DIY because you are worried about costs, there are ways to work around this concern.

·       Handle just the part of the job that you are comfortable with and outsource the remaining. This will save you a good deal of money doing a part of the work. But, remember subcontractors look at these jobs as one-off and often don’t prioritise it. Consider going to a professional for the whole job, if this is the case.

·       Use the BIY (Buy-It-Yourself) approach. Buy all the materials you need and then hire a professional to install them for you. This way you may save a sizable amount on contractor related mark-ups. Be aware you may not buy exactly what a contractor would need, and they may get a sizable discount from the wholesaler.

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·       Do your own landscaping, painting of windows and fences and cleaning of gutters. These might be time intensive, but most people can do these without a lot of upskilling.

Tasks where a pro is a must

There are certain tasks where a pro is a must, particularly from the safety perspective. Installation of electrical and plumbing lines, HVAC, skylights and fire places definitely need professionals coming in. So does running gas lines, in-floor heating and seamless gutters. Adding to the structure of your home, masonry work and building pools needs the pros.

Before you start your renovation, it is essential that you evaluate your insurance cover and ensure that you have things in order. The intention to DIY may change, void or influence outcomes of insurance should something go wrong. You need to understand your limitations as DIYer and the outcomes if you take on a task that’s outside your skill level.