Most DIY weekend warriors are not afraid to handle a saw and a hammer when the need arises. While the whole DIY industry encourages self-reliance and a reasonable amount of self-confidence, sometimes a professional?s advice can definitely be of immense help.
According to Margeau Gilbert of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the shift from hiring contractors to becoming a mini-contractor is on the rise:
“Some homeowners are becoming mini-general contractors. The most intrepid will tear down walls, build additions on their houses, erect gazebos or waterfalls and decks. DIY projects are definitely in vogue right now.”
DIY projects like painting are fast becoming normal activities, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute:
“The faux painting techniques are definitely number one. The results can be incredible when done correctly because painting is the least expensive way to make a change. It’s also probably the easiest and most innocuous of DIY projects”
Know your limits
According to Ms. Gilberts:
“Insurance companies are wary of insuring DIY projects because many aren’t up to code, have inferior materials, or were the product of unsafe shortcuts. I’m not saying that people who do DIY projects are purposely doing this.
Ms. Gilberts continues with:
“I’m saying that mistakes can be easily made. Above all, know your limits. If you’re handy around tools and have a real comfort level reading manuals written in arcane language, then by all means, have fun.”
Perhaps one of the most dangerous shortcuts one can make is with electrical wires. When installing new electrical wires, make sure that the wires run smoothly inside the walls and that the wires will not twine or snag other wires.
Snags or intertwining electrical wires can cause fires. Insulating material and walls that have a 1-inch accommodation for summer expansion can cause a conflagration that can run a house to the ground in hours.
Another thing you have to watch out for is small repairs with water pipes. To save yourself the bother of paying for wasted water, make sure that any alteration to water pipes are supported with plenty of plumbing tape. Waterproof and inexpensive, plumbing tapes can seal a leak in seconds.
How to save more money with DIY projects
To make sure that you?re maximizing the savings, consult a local contractor or builder and get an estimate. Simply bring with you the measurements of a particular projects (such as the wall area if you want to repaint) and ask for an estimate.
For a small fee, you can get a professional estimate and of course, advice on what paint to buy and how to efficiently coat your walls. Also, befriending your local contractors will ensure that you can easily call them when something goes wrong.
Large projects that require significant manpower must be handled carefully. If you think re-tiling the roof is too big a job for you, don?t force yourself. Simply get a contractor and allow the professionals to finish the job for you. Sometimes, a DIY moment can wait. The important thing is your house is experiencing a make-over, not a gradual demolition.