The DIY Home Renovation Dilemma
To DIY or not to DIY? The DIY home renovation dilemma is real, and there’s a lot to think about. Here’s some friendly advice.
So you’re thinking about renovating. Aren’t we all? Bathrooms, kitchens, living areas. . . . there are so many choices to make when it comes to home renovations. So many decisions and things to think about, but perhaps the most important is, “Can I do this myself?” Ah yes, the million-dollar (probably thousand-dollar) question! Like with most important questions in life, the answer to the DIY home renovation dilemma isn’t as straightforward as we wish it was. It basically all boils down to the project and your skillset, but there are certain tasks that are better left to the professionals. On the other hand, there are some easier jobs involved in renovations that you should be able to tackle with no problem! Here we’ll help you discern where you should DIY, and where you should call in the reinforcements.
It goes without saying that you should pass on trying to tackle the jobs that require permits, could destroy your home, or cause severe injury or death (electrical, plumbing, HVAC), but what about the stuff they do on TV?
Like with most important questions in life, the answer to the DIY home renovation dilemma isn’t as straightforward as we wish it was.
1. Space planning
Everyone thinks they’re an interior designer until the time comes to actually design the interior. This step is going to take some looking in the mirror. Do you actually have space planning skills, or do you just think you do? Space planning is more than deciding which couch goes where and what colors to paint the walls. There are code requirements that must be met for not only comfort and efficiency but for safety as well. All things that you may not be an expert on, but a professional definitely will. If you think you’re up for the task and have done the proper research, give it a shot! But at the end of the day, this is all about setting yourself up for success in the long run. Investing in a professional to help you create and execute a solid plan will save you time, money, and energy, and result in a better final product.
The Verdict: Space planning ain’t as easy as it looks. Go with a pro!
This may seem like grunt work, and it is. But it’s fun grunt work if you get some friends involved! Call up some pals, pay them in pizza and beer, and you can get this job done quickly and for cheap. Demolition isn’t just a walk in the park though—some demolition projects are better left to the professionals and it’s important you know where to draw that line. If you’re going to DIY, there are safety precautions you’ll need to take, and it’s important that you dispose of your mess properly. But it’s a relatively simple job that can be a lot of fun when done right.
The Verdict: This one’s all you, but BE CAREFUL!
Tiling may look simple enough on the surface, but it can be expensive, complicated, and easy to mess up. Depending on what kind of tile you’re planning on installing, you may have to buy new tools, which could be costly for a one-time project. You’d also have to learn how to use those tools correctly, which is a lot of effort for a potentially small job. Not to mention, you may have to deal with removing old flooring and surfaces, and the dreaded irregularly shaped room can be a pain to deal with as well. If you’ve done some tiling before, you’re welcome to try your hand, but I’d suggest hiring it out.
The Verdict: Not for the faint of heart or wallet. Leave it to the pros.
A lot of the tasks on this list involve some sort of danger that professionals are better suited to handle. But painting? They let little kids paint! This is perfectly achievable for DIYers of any skill level. Just be sure to put down a drop cloth and use your painter’s tape liberally. Don’t be cheap! You’re already saving a ton of money by DIYing. You can put the whole family or friend group to work and have this done in no time! Be sure to look up some specific interior painting tips to make sure you’re doing a good job, though!
The Verdict: Get your best Bob Ross outfit ready. It’s your time to shine!
5. Drywall finishing
Drywall finishing is doable, but is it worth it? You could learn how to do it on YouTube and probably do a decent enough job. But for a large project, it’s probably better to call in some help. Not only does it take a long time to do, but small problems like lumpy mud, nail pops, and tape bubbles can drive you absolutely crazy. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and headaches by letting a professional do their job. Still, it’s a good skill to learn just in case you need to patch a couple of holes here and there.
The Verdict: Save yourself the stress. Call in the reinforcements.
6. Fixtures and finishes
Other than painting, this is probably the most accessible home renovation task on this list. Any homeowner with a ladder, a drill, and a level should be able to do a solid job of installing their fixtures and finishes—and save a lot of money while they’re at it. Accent walls, new baseboards, sink faucets. . . . you can do it all! Most faucets, toilets, doorknobs, pulls, etc. come with instructions and their own special tools needed for installation, so you’ll be fine as long as you read. You are going to read the instructions, right?
The Verdict: DIY! Grab a tool belt and get to drilling!
Do you have any DIY tips you want to share? We want to hear them! Share them with us on social media!