Sunday, 7 February 2016

Home Renovation: Should You Do It Yourself?

Home renovation can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to your budget. What's better in the long run: DIY or hiring professionals? 

Owning a home can be a great investment of your time and your money. The joy that is looking at a house that is all yours and having the ability to change it to match your style and specifications is something that goes above and beyond any feeling you can get from renting. When it becomes time to renovate your home, though, you might get a twinge of Bob Vila and think that home renovation might be a task you're suited to do yourself, but what should you DIY and what should you hire help for? Answer these questions below to help you decide:

1. Do you have the time to learn or the skills necessary?

Simple tasks, like changing light fixtures, can seem like no-brainers. Bigger home renovation tasks, like rewiring a room, plumbing upgrades, or structural renovation might seem like something a few YouTube videos can help solve, but remember that time equals money. If you've got the time to handle learning how to safely make these upgrades, then it might be in your interest to give it a go on your own. But if you feel like your time might be better spent focusing on other tasks, a professional contractor will make sure the work gets done and that you aren't "left in the dark" for days or even weeks on end.

2. Do you know all of the regulations?

Many municipalities will require building permits and inspections to make sure any home renovation is up to code, and not getting these done can result in hefty fines and sometimes having to tear down/out all the work that was done and redoing it all over again, wasting valuable time and money. If you're going the DIY route, make sure to talk with the Department of Buildings for your town about what is required, and if there are any spatial or property line regulations you need to know before planning your build. If you decide to hire a contractor, they usually take care of these things for you and are insured against any negligence.

3. How big is the project?

Small tasks might be more budget-friendly to handle yourself over a weekend, rather than getting a contractor to schedule your changes. Bigger tasks, though, like tearing down walls or any sort of structural work might be better left to the pros that have the experience and knowledge to know how to get the results you want safely and up to proper code.

The good news is that if you want to tackle a home renovation safely, there are now hundreds of resources freely accessible to you via the Internet and your local library. Use your best judgment and remember that your home is your castle, so treat it well. Good luck!

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