Most home buyers and home owners today are faced with the need to update their homes, expand them, or otherwise renovate key aspects of their property. Maybe your kitchen is outdated, or you’d like a larger bathroom. Or your roof needs to be repaired, and the home needs to be rewired completely.
Some of these renovations can be DIY-ed with some time, practical skills, and a desire to save money. But some of them shouldn’t be touched by anyone, but a professional. But how do you know the difference? Here are some of the things you can tackle yourself and some you shouldn’t attempt.
Tackle These Yourself
Ideally, you’d be able to get a professional to handle all the work on your house, but that can get very expensive, very fast. Thankfully, you can carry out these jobs yourself without major issues:
Painting is, perhaps, the easiest major job you can actually do yourself. Painters do a beautiful job, but it’s so expensive, that when you need to paint a whole house, complete with cabinets, you can really feel the difference in your wallet between a professional job and a DIY one.
To ensure your success, you need good paint. That’s where most of your money is going, and the only thing you’ll be paying for. Since you’re saving cash on the work, don’t pick the cheapest paint, because you won’t get the best results. Instead, opt for a quality paint that does half the work for you. The colors will be richer and more complex, too.
Other than that, patience and attention to detail are the main skills required here. If you take your time and tape off the edges of all the doors and windows, the ceiling, and details like electrical outlets and skirting boards, you’ll be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a DIY paint job and a professional one.
Removing & applying wallpaper
Wallpaper is notorious for being annoying to apply and remove, so you might be tempted to just pay a professional to do it. But simply put, it’s not worth it. Removal is literally just a matter of stripping paper off the walls and sanding down any stubborn remainders, and you can do that with a damp sponge, sanding paper, and brute force.
Wallpaper application is all about making sure it’s smoothly applied and properly adhered. You just need to be generous with the glue and with your patience. Measure three times, cut once. Stick your wallpaper on, and smooth it out with a clean cloth. If it doesn’t work perfectly, no need to despair – you can always unstick and try again.
In a perfect world, you’d be able to hire a perfect tiler that can apply perfect tiling, but when you spend so much money on bigger jobs, this type of cosmetic work is the kind of thing you can take on yourself – if you’re armed with patience and a bit of attention to detail.
The trick with tiling is to keep things precise. Work in small sections and make sure you apply everything correctly, and you won’t be able to tell whether it’s an amateur job or a professional one. Especially if it’s only the backsplash that needs done, and not an entire bathroom, for example, it’s significantly easier.
One good tip is to not attempt any complicated, crazy designs or unusual shapes. As fashionable as it is, herringbone tiling is more difficult and more expensive to apply, so stick to traditional styles and straight edges.
Hire A Professional
When it comes to these jobs, however, you don’t want to get involved. They are highly specialized jobs that require professional knowledge, care, and attention.
This should be self-explanatory, but when you’re dealing with matters of structural integrity, you don’t want to mess with it yourself. No matter how good you are, there is always the possibility that you’ll miss something important, and that can put your home at risk.
If your walls need support, if your roof needs to be replaced, if you’re having to strengthen, add or replace support beams, or replace windows, leave it to the professional. This is a place where your money goes a long way and it’s an investment that more than makes up for itself. After all, the last thing you want is to find out that you overlooked something and then have to take down your sheetrock to get to the structural beams again.
Remember that for major structural work you don’t only need a contractor, but also an architect. They will be the one with the knowledge, expertise, and the necessary vision to design the space properly. You need an impeccable plan before you grab the sledgehammer.
Again, when it comes to electrical work, it should be common sense that a professional electrician is necessary and that doing it yourself can be comical, at best, and tragic, at worst.
You don’t just risk zapping yourself, but you run the risk of creating major safety issues further down the line, if the house isn’t wired properly or safely. Especially when you’re dealing with older buildings where the layout and placement are unfamiliar.
In addition to that, the work you do may not be up to code, which is going to be identified by an inspector, if you’re lucky. Or will be identified when someone gets electrocuted, if you’re unlucky. This also goes for installing phone lines, internet routers, and even smart home systems and devices. There is no overkill when it comes to electrical safety.
Just like electrical work, piping and anything to do with your water supply needs to be carefully considered and installed. Bad pipework can mean that you get some truly unfortunate leaks or even broken pipes and the subsequent flooding.
You need to get a professional in there to check on the overall state of your piping – is it in good state? Does it need to be replaced, or just repaired? What’s the best material for your pipes? Are your pipes even in the right place? Again, in older buildings, that can constitute a problem that requires a professional to solve.
What’s The Bottom Line?
As you can see, home renovations are not all made equal. While you can handle some of them yourself with little to no issue, some of them require professional expertise. It’s not always clear which is which, so this guide can give you an idea of what you should or shouldn’t attempt yourself.
While cosmetic work like painting, applying wallpaper, or tiling is just fine to be DIY-ed, more specialized, intricate work like piping work, electrical work, or structural work requires professional expertise. Otherwise, safety can be compromised.
Renovating your home can be a major undertaking, and finding the right people for the job is tricky. If you’re looking for an architect to help you with your renovation, Adamick Architecture can make sure you achieve your dream vision for your home! We may be reached at 504-322-1220 or [email protected].