Home Repair Projects: Deciding What to Tackle and What to Avoid
Being a homeowner, it’s natural to take pride in maintaining and improving your property yourself. However, getting in over your head can mean more than just adding time or frustration. There are safety worries, concerns about damage, and the potential for creating a bigger, more expensive issue than what you had in the first place. Here’s important information on what you should consider taking on and what is better left in professional hands.
Major vs. Minor
The first step in evaluating potential projects is assessing whether a job will be a major renovation or a minor repair. A major renovation involves a substantial investment of labor and materials, and typically means a bigger financial outlay. Most homeowners will not have the tools to accomplish advanced projects, much less the skill required to do so successfully.
Oftentimes, major home renovations and repairs involve specialized expertise, such as from engineers and architects. Electrical projects, foundation damage, plumbing repairs, and structural concerns typically fall outside of the abilities of the average homeowner. Note that on average, the cost of a major home repair comes in at around $10,523. Because there is usually significant expense involved, do some investigation before jumping in.
An important aspect in completing any home repair or improvement is the amount of time you can dedicate to the work. Many homeowners expect jobs to go as quickly and as smoothly as seen on popular home-project TV shows, but once the project has begun, they realize it’s more involved than it first appeared. HuffPost points out just the preliminary work, such as laying out plans, applying for permits, and assembling tools and materials, can take months. If you’re a layperson trying to put things together on evenings and weekends, decide how long you are willing to have your home or yard in disarray. Chances are that a pro can do the job far more efficiently.
Satisfying, Smart, and Simple
There are plenty of home upgrades well within the skill level of the average homeowner, and being able to point to your finished work and say, “I did that!” is extremely satisfying. For instance, if you’re living with an outdated bathroom, replacing a dated green toilet with a modern, water-saving, white commode can pack a wallop, and there are step-by-step instructions from This Old House to make it a breeze. Flooring also offers potential; for example, hardwood floors are not only classic, but they are also popular right now. If you have hardwood floors hiding under your carpet, you can do the carpet removal yourself, and if your existing hardwood floors need a refresher, you can take that on, too. If you need to rent any tools, such as a sander, you can do so at your local hardware store.
While it’s not always as exciting as a decor-related project, doing home maintenance is often within the realm of DIY for most homeowners. It is satisfying in a different way to know your home is running efficiently, and you can save money over paying someone else to complete the tasks. For example, routinely changing your furnace filters helps keep your heating and cooling system going strong. Keeping your gutters cleaned and well-maintained protects your home from potential damage, and properly tending your lawn keeps the exterior of your home looking great.
As a homeowner, it’s natural to want to DIY projects. It feels wonderful to accomplish your goals and save money at the same time. Whatever jobs are inspiring you, think about your skill level and what you have on hand, and do a little research to learn what will be involved so you can go forward with confidence and realistic expectations.
About The Author
This article was written by Seth Murphy.
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