HOW TO DIY
How to DIY Your Home With Style
As a homeowner, you’ve probably thought about making upgrades at some point. Your home might be great ‘as is,’ but it doesn’t mean you can’t make improvements for functionality, luxury, cleanliness, buyer appeal or to simply make it more modern. Whatever your reason, you can tackle home improvement projects the DIY way or with contractors.
You’ll have to assess whether you can take on these projects or outsource the job to an experienced professional. DIY Network has a handy guide on whether to hire a pro or give it a go for common maintenance and repairs. Anyone can paint a wall or plant a garden, but not everyone can build a deck or lay down tile. For heftier projects like adding on a room, knocking down walls, or building a kitchen island, a contractor certainly needs to be hired.
Hire a pro for anything that requires foundational or structural changes, demolition, special equipment, hazardous/dangerous work, experience/education/training, electrical wiring, or any job where safety of the home needs to be considered. The last thing you’ll want to do is a renovation that isn’t up to code, can’t withstand inclement weather, can’t sustain long-term wear and tear or isn’t safe for habitation.
Research online for a contractor to do the work and then read reviews. Ask a neighbor on Next Door for a referral. Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured so that you’re not liable for accidents on your property. It’s important to find someone who does business officially, such as pulling permits and signing contracts. Look them up on the BBB, and ask them about their experience and satisfaction policy. Inquire about timelines and costs, but understand that the quote might be different than the final cost. The contractor should be able to give you expectations about this cost difference, but if they’re not being transparent, then your gut might tell you to walk away.
Going the DIY route is more cost effective, but it can also be more stressful and unsustainable. You’ll need the right tools and possibly an extra helping hand. A handy friend might also be willing to help out for a lower cost than a professional, and he might be able to bring the tools of the trade with him.
There are other projects that can be handled by yourself or through a professional, but it’s up to you to research the steps and decide if you can do them yourself. Many landscaping projects such as trimming bushes and planting flowers, can be done on your own. A professional landscaper could be a good choice to get an initial design for your yard. For complicated exterior projects that involvement waterlines, concrete and wires, you should hire a contractor.
aAnother outdoor project could be installing a fence around the backyard pool or a yard for the dog. Keep in mind that the average minimum cost of a 6-foot privacy fence (materials) is about $7 per linear foot. If you know carpentry and digging, then you might be able to complete this project on your own to save money on labor costs. There’s also the option to buy a pre-made fence kit that you’ll need to install but not build. A tricky yard or concrete should be left to a professional instead.
Indoor projects to spruce up your home over a long weekend include updating the guest bathroom, adding backsplash tile to your kitchen and bathroom, replacing old doors, changing carpets, repainting walls and shutters, putting up new curtains and blinds, replacing outdated appliances with energy efficient ones, refinishing furniture and having your upholstery cleaned. Even a deep cleaning of the house can go a long way toward making it look and feel nicer.
Think about your project and start with one room at a time. If you have the money and time, you can also go into full-blown renovation mode and get everything done while you find another temporary place to stay. But whether you decide to DIY your upgrades or go the professional route, design your house with the style that makes you feel the happiest.