In an age driven by sites like Pinterest and TV channels like HGTV, a lot of homeowners believe that if they could only take on a few of those major home improvement projects themselves, they’d be sure to save money. Home improvements are costly – there’s no denying this fact, nor is there any denying that in many cases they are crucial to helping your home maintain value, remain comfortable, and sell quickly in a soft real estate market. All of this leads many inexperienced homeowners to take on DIY projects that they aren’t capable of or prepared for. Sometimes these projects work out. Small things like swapping out bathroom sink faucets or putting in a new kitchen backsplash can save you money on installation and improve the look and function of your home. Unfortunately, too often the larger projects that homeowners tackle end up costing them far more than they bargained for, and with many of those costs never coming to light during their planning stages.
The Upfront Costs of DIY
A lot of homeowners tend to overlook some of the very obvious costs of DIY. They simply see themselves saving on the professional bills and think that it’s a win-win scenario every time. But there are several costs that any DIY homeowner needs to be aware of, and that are present in nearly every scenario.
The first is the cost of the tools and materials. A professional will have a full complement of tools and equipment to choose from when installing something in your home. If things take an unseen turn, they’ll likely also have the tools to deal with this as well without any additional downtime or expense.
When a DIY homeowner takes on a project, they will likely need to purchase or rent these tools and equipment. This cost needs to be deducted from the potential savings. So does the additional downtime and cost if further tools or equipment are required later on.
At the same time, without professional estimates and assistance, many homeowners may not realize how long a project could potentially take. So a bathroom renovation could result in the need for other facilities for days or weeks, and these costs in time and money need to be added to the total.
The Hidden Costs of DIY
Unfortunately, these costs are often just scratching the surface in the total cost of many DIY projects. Unless you have a lot of experience or are willing to get the help you need as things arise, there could be numerous costs that you could be facing that will far outweigh what the cost of hiring someone upfront would have been.
The first cost may appear in the form of a lack of a permit. Even if you tackle a project yourself, you are still responsible for pulling the relevant permits and having the inspections done. This is a serious penalty if you fail to file the necessary papers, and can result in fines and even the closing of your home until things are corrected. You also need to remember that if you do pull a permit, the work you do is subject to inspection and that anything done incorrectly will need to be redone at your cost if the home fails.
Another potential cost comes from hidden problems that lie below the surface in your home. Things like asbestos in homes built before 1970 or wires and plumbing that you may not be aware of. At best, you could end up doing damage to something that will cost time and money to repair; at worst you could put yourself and your family into a dangerous situation if you deal with things like lead paint or asbestos insulation incorrectly.
You also need to be aware of potential issues that you could have with the installation itself - your floors aren’t level, your plumbing needs to be upgraded, or you overlook a crucial step in the installation process. These issues could be potentially dangerous, and if steps are overlooked during installation that mean your home is not up to code, you may find yourself unable to sell it down the road. All of these issues could need to be corrected at an additional cost.
Do It Right, Do It Once
While home improvements are costly, oftentimes trying to save money on DIY installations can cost you even more. Unless you’re working on cosmetic areas or you have previous experience, it’s almost always a better idea to leave the installation to the Pros.
If you’re ready to get started, sign up with BEYREP to get matched to a Pro who can help you get your home improvement projects done right the first time. Our matching software will help you find the right Pro for you no matter what level of project you’re taking on. So skip the DIY and sign up with BEYREP to get it done right.