Insights

DIY projects can seem simple. And if you're looking to save a few bucks, it's very tempting to try these projects on your own. Besides, how hard can it possibly be to fill in cracks in a wall, install a new toilet or add caulk around your bathtub? Well, these projects might not be too hard, but there are others that can prove to be more challenging and where you may be better off hiring a professional to do the job.

DIY projects gone wrong

Too often, homeowners botch repairs and cost themselves even more money by having to call in a professional anyway. Take for example the following DIY projects that have gone wrong:

One couple thought it would be a simple project to redo the carpet and renovate an outdated room in their 50-year-old home. They began by ripping out a few built-ins and painting the paneling. However, shortly after starting the project, when they pulled up the carpet, they noticed some asbestos tile that needed to be removed. When they attempted to remove it, they damaged the sub-floor underneath. They also ended up gutting the entire room, adding additional wiring, insulation and putting up new drywall. The entire project, which at first glance appeared to be a simple fix, took them over six months to complete with more expenses incurred than they originally anticipated.

Another instance of a DIY project gone wrong was when a homeowner decided to replace a flushing mechanism on his toilet in his rental home. However, the hose was not attached securely enough. The result? It caused a leak that damaged the carpet downstairs. That simple project cost him $1,000 to replace the carpet.

When to DIY

As a homeowner, you might have some level of skills that allow you to perform certain DIY projects. By hiring a professional to perform these jobs, you might actually cost yourself more money than what the project is worth. Things like installing backsplash in your kitchen, installing linoleum floors or painting the interior walls of your home could fall under these skill levels. But, other projects might require more skill. You will want to ensure you can perform the task adequately so you don't waste your money having to have it redone.

When to call a pro

Although you might have particular skills in plumbing, electrical wiring or carpentry, it's best to leave the harder projects to the professional. Some examples could include:

Installing hardwood flooring

Even though you will find a multitude of DIY instructional videos online about installing hardwood floors, if you botch this project up, repairing it can get very costly. It might cost you a little more per square foot to have the job done properly by a professional, but it can be worth it in the long run.

Structural changes

If you're considering tackling structural changes, like a new room addition or enlarging the garage, there are things you have to take into consideration such as ensuring the addition is structurally sound, built to code and that you have acquired the proper permits to even begin the job. This is where hiring a professional comes in handy. They already have the license and permit to get the job done, and their expertise can almost guarantee a job well done. They also have insurance should something go wrong.

Installing replacement windows

Replacing your windows might also seem like an easy job. However, not all windows originally installed in the average home are standard in size. Because of this, you’ll find that there is much more work to simply replacing them, such as installation and extra framing work. You can have all your old windows replaced by a professional to ensure that all installation and framing is done correctly.

DIY projects can also prove to be dangerous, if you don't have the proper skills to do the job or the right tools. They can also be costly if you have to have them done over because of a mistake you made. Leaving the tough jobs for the professionals is best. Just do a little research to find those who are highly experienced, have strong references and reasonably priced.

Needing to spruce up your home?

Whether you're doing it yourself or hiring a professional, consider using your home's equity to pay for all those projects on your to-do list.




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