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To Do It Yourself (DIY) or Not to Do It Yourself (NDIY)

by | Apr 27, 2021 | Remodeling tips, Project Planning, Kitchen 101, Bathroom 101 | 0 comments

In recent years, we have seen a surge in DIY projects. Maybe you were one of those people who watched enough YouTube videos to undertake one of your own DIY projects like building a deck or painting a spare bedroom. Good for you! But are there some DIY projects that should be considered as NDIY or Not to Do It Yourself? The answer to that question is MAYBE!

For starters, are you handy? Like do you know what a “channel lock” is (NO, this is not a device to keep your children from watching the wrong programming late at night) or what a “vise grip” is (NO, this is not a wrestling move). If not, then I might question a DIY at this time. Or are working a full-time job during the day and want to remain married and remember your kids’ names? Then I might question a DIY project like remodeling a kitchen or renovating a bathroom.

OK, let’s say you are handy and have the time to tackle a project like a bathroom renovation or kitchen remodel. Please keep in mind that once you take out that first tiled wall or remove appliances and countertops, there is no turning back. The clock is ticking and your DIY status is on the line.

I know I have glamorized many DIY projects like this but here are a few things to consider before you start:

Design considerations

Have you thought through all of the design elements of the job?  Do you know how the tile, countertops, cabinet color, and flooring should all coordinate? Do you know how to calculate how much tile you will need?  And if not, does it all come from the same lot so that there is no color variance?  Is the wall you want to remove a load-bearing wall?  Does the plumbing need to be moved to accommodate your new sink or faucet? Does a water line need to be added for your new fridge for water in the door?  Does your current flooring extend under your cabinets or only up to the baseboards?  These are all things that need to be considered.

Building Permits and Codes

Does your city require a building permit to accomplish the project of your dreams? If so, do you know how to file for this and what needs to be turned in? Do you know the building code for the various aspects of your project such as the size of doors or the height or width of your new steps?  Do you know if you have to add smoke detectors or outlets in your renovation and where they are to be placed?

Construction Debris and Dust Control

Once you pull out items like tile and countertops, where do you put them or dispose of them if you do not have a dumpster? Your trash man typically will not pick it up and your significant other might tolerate looking at the debris for only so long. I know before you began this project your intention was to “surgically” remove all that drywall, but now two weeks into the project, and your “surgical removal” has turned into massacring the heck out the drywall to just get it done. Drywall is the messiest and dustiest phase of a job and you could end up with dust throughout your home which may not bode well with your significant other.

Help from Subcontractors

There might be a trade or two that you actually do hire out to finish your remodel project. Then the question becomes, do they have the correct licensing needed to perform the work or adequate insurance coverage if something were to happen on the project. And can they fit it into their schedule when you are needing it done…which may be immediate.

DIY? You Decide. We’ll Help.

As tempting as it might seem to have bragging rights, save yourself some potential money, and DIY by not hiring a reputable contractor, you can see there are some projects that require both special skill and a number of interrelated decision making. If you want to talk through your project before you get started, give us a call. We can help you love where you live, especially when home renovations become complicated like the photo at the top of this blog post of a master bathroom remodel project we completed.

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