From Margaret on January 9th, 2012 in General Remodel, Tools and Tips
You may want to complete fabulous remodeling projects in your home yourself—but you don’t want those projects to look homemade. Second-rate. Novice.
No, you want your home to look quality and professional, while owning a bit of the work yourself and saving money in the process. Many remodels are too technical or large in scope to complete without a contractor*, but there are some projects you can take on yourself, at least partially.
You just have to know how to go about your project.
You just have to know how to avoid five major remodeling mistakes that will immediately give away your own DIY involvement in the whole thing. Just because you’re completing some or all of the project yourself doesn’t mean that you have to do a less-than-professional job.
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Check out the following pitfalls to avoid.
1. Skimping on the Planning
You’re excited to finally get to that beautiful bathroom remodel. You want it, and you want it now. Finances are in order and you’re ready to head off to Home Depot today to start knocking out the project this weekend. Maybe you even have a very specific vision in mind.
But don’t skimp on the planning stage, which can be the most important on of all. Take adequate time to plan, sketch, and map out what you have in mind. Price out materials, which will greatly increase your statistical chances of keeping within a proposed budget.
2. Going Cheap on Materials
While there are some shortcuts you can take with materials, you want to acquire the best-quality materials possible. You’ll pay more up front, but going with better materials will not only increase the life of your renovation, but the value and sell-ability of your home. Look to cut corners in other places, such as green remodeling rebates available to those who get ENERGY STAR rated appliances and then apply for money back.
3. Underestimating the Requirements
One thing a contractor can help you with is realistic scheduling. You can ensure the success of your project by allowing a generous time allowance—and goals to meet along the way. That master bathroom renovation may have seemed a great and simple idea, but real life enters in, the weekend ends, and you’re left months later with a ghastly, unfinished bathroom that is worse than before you began.
Spare yourself the nightmare, and plan for the right timing, especially when you’re working on something like a guest bathroom before visiting season arrives at your house.
4. Not Knowing When to Call a Pro
Some projects are halted by the need of a contractor. There’s no shame in going in part way and using a professional for the dirty work. Take a bathroom, for example, which requires a professionals to install that new toilet, but only needs your two hands for a paint job. Or kitchen remodeling, which involves time-consuming cabinet installation. Both have the potential to go totally berserk.
5. Not Considering Your Context
You may be radically changing your living room from country to Danish modern. Great. Just remember that whatever you’re doing to your home requires that it all fits together into one beautiful whole. Don’t renovate your master bath and leave the rest of the house completely out of place—integrate small details from that room into other areas of the house, and avoid a classic remodeling mishap.
*If your project requires the involvement of a professional, you can easily find a quality contractor in your area, and even get a free estimate on what your project will require. Check out CalFinder’s extensive list of professionals near you.