Home Remodeling DIY Or Hire A Professional?
The Internet is filled with do-it-yourself home remodeling tutorials, but executing them good can be much harder than watching a YouTube video and simply following along. Sometimes, even simple projects that appear to be quick fixes can wind up in a disaster if the DIY’er doesn’t have the proper permits, materials or experience to get the job done accurately.
“Buyers are right now really savvy,” said Danny Hertzberg, a member of the Miami, Flordia-based luxury real estate sales team called The Jills. “They’ve done their research online through Truila or Zillow, they’re watching HGTV and they know their market data. When they’re comparing homes and see that the two have DIY projects that didn’t work out and one has a professionally done renovation, buyers are going to go for that (third) house.”
Moral of the story: Sometimes, it’s worth the extra moolah to go with a pro. Investing in a property upfront has the potential to pay off big down the line. Here are 10 DIY remodeling mistakes that should be avoided at all costs. A special thanks to CBS News for helpful information on these tips.
Installing your own kitchen cabinets and appliances
Remodeling a kitchen can be a very big job, but could be an even bigger job- and expense- if homeowners try to install their own cabinets and appliances. New cabinetry, refrigerators, dishwashers, and built-in microwaves can be pricey. It makes much more sense to hire someone who can install everything the right way the first time. Hertzberg says, “People will buy premade things from places like Ikea. Unless they really have the skill set, it shows. You might end up with a sloped cabinet or put the wrong doors in the wrong places so they don’t open correctly- it’s a space planning issue.”
Similar to painting, laying down a new tile in the kitchen, bathroom, or entryway can be a great way to improve the look and feel of a property, whether owners are planning to stay or sell. Also like painting, doing a bad job could send the wrong message to visitors and potential buyers, showing that owners aren’t invested enough in their homes to spend money on professional home remodeling. Doing good tile work is much more than lining up little squares, says Nicholas Colagiovanni, a Chicago-based Realtor. Colagiovanni says, “most people who decide to do DIY project and save a couple bucks get what they pay for. We as homeowners can’t forget the monetary value of our time. Ask your broker to recommend someone and then interview a few people.”
Installing your own carpeting or hardwood flooring
Flooring is a key part of the appearance and usability of any home. Since every room has a floor, it’s also something that visitors and potential buyers and prone to notice quickly- especially if there’s a problem that makes it difficult to walk around. Flooring is a very basic project around the house that takes not only know-how, but it requires professional tools. Colagiovanni says, “you’ve got to use the right stuff. It’s just like anything. I go to the dentist’s office to get my teeth cleaned. I’m not going to do it myself with the technology they use for teeth cleaning.”
Building your own backyard deck
Aside from the concern that a poorly built deck could collapse while a homeowner’s family and friends are on it, decks placed in the wrong place could also make it difficult to access important parts of a property. Rick Phillips, a certified home appraiser and president of the Virginia-based Appraisals Guaranteed says, “I’ve seen DIY decks where people put them in and couldn’t access their crawl space or water spigot. That could cause a water collection that causes leaks or prevents access to stuff you should be able to have a workman access from time to time if something goes wrong. … I’ve even seen decks that had to be cut off after they were built because the owners didn’t get a permit and built onto their neighbor’s lawn.” An incorrectly stained deck could damage the existing exterior of a home by splashing the stain onto brick, side panels or windows. “If you don’t know how to do it right, then definitely have someone else do it,” says Phillips.
Installing “committed” home features
“Committed” is a term that is used to describe semi-permanent aesthetic commitments people make that are uniquely tailored to their specific tastes. In other words, if homeowners decide to install purple carpeting carpet or green countertops, they should feel committed to staying in the property for a while- or be committed to reversing the change before putting the house on the market. A “committed” choice may not reduce the sale value of a home, Phillips said, but it could make the property much harder to sell. Homeowners are motivated to make a committed home change themselves because these changes are often passion projects, but it’s probably not a great choice in the grand scheme of things. Long-term design decisions deserve high-quality work done by a pro.
Many homeowners think they can save money by painting the interior or exterior of their properties themselves. But a bad paint job can have severe consequences, especially if the owners aren’t too handy with a brush and have plans to sell in the near future. “A lot of people feel that painting is pretty simple and that a fresh coat of paint does a lot for the sale of a home and gives it a fresh feel. But for a lot of people who don’t have experience painting, you can see all the brush strokes. If people don’t paint properly, it can look like there are two tones, or you could get paint on the wood floor or countertops. They start out with good intentions, but end up damaging the property worse,” Hertzberg says. Potential buyers will look at small visual cues like the crispness of a paint job to decide whether they feel right in a home, and if buyers get a bad feeling, owners could lose tons of money in the housing market.
Even though the risk is normally nothing near real damage beyond creating something that isn’t aesthetically pleasing, a severe remodeling mistake could lead to tens and thousands of dollars lost when you want to put your house on the market. Home Remedy would love to help you on your next remodeling adventure. Look around our website to view the list of services we offer. Happy remodeling!