So, you have decided on remodeling your home or part of it, you’re on a budget and would like to save some money. You are probably asking yourself, how much can you, and should you, do yourself, and when should you go pro.
The drawing board - leave it for the pros
You can set out a budget yourself but when it comes to design - you better let a professional designer help you think strategically about the entire project. They will usually know the right order for doing things, help you plan a budget, introduce you to suppliers and choose great materials that may even save you money. This is all the more important if you're planning a large-scale renovation, as you’ll probably need to work with inspectors and architects, to get permits, and contractors to make your renovating dream - a reality.
Materials, supplies and appliances - you can safely DIY it
After planning, the professional you have hired (whether it is a contractor or a designer) can give you a list of materials and supplies you’ll need. Of course, we're not talking about cement and other heavy-duty materials, but otherwise, you can and should definitely avoid your contractor’s markups by getting tiles, cabinets, plumbing fixtures and more. Having said that, there is an advantage in having your contractor bring the materials, as they will be responsible in case they fail or break during the installation and even later on - that’s your warranty. But if the budget is tight - purchasing the materials yourself is a guaranteed money saver.
Changes or repairs to the structure or infrastructure - professional territory only
Making these changes requires permits, but your safety matters even more. Once you tear a wall open you never know what surprise awaits you, especially if you’re dealing with an older home. Many property owners discover that serious improvisations have been made in the past as far as plumbing and electricity goes, or that walls may be infested with termites or suffering from severe rot and decay. When it comes to this type of project, above all other types mentioned - take our advice and avoid touching any gas pipes, distribution boards, electrical cabinets, plumbing systems, and exterior walls all together. A comment about Asbestos - if you discover it during your home inspection, be aware that it’s against the law and also extremely hazardous to remove it yourself, or even have your contractor do it for you. You should have a licensed professional test and dispose of it.
Final cosmetic work - a classic DIY project
There are literally millions of videos, blogs, and articles all about how to install tiles, recreate ceiling moldings, apply plasterwork, renewing doorknobs and what not. This is truly DIY territory. Just make sure not to cause too much damage and things should go smoothly.
Hopefully you’ve taken our advice, and our warnings, as to what you should do yourself to save a couple of bucks, and when you should call in a professional.