We would like to do some updating to our house and are considering doing it ourselves. What are the pros and cons?

A: We all heard the horror stories of people attempting their own remodeling only to have it go very wrong and end up hiring professionals anyway, in the end costing far more than it would have to just hire them from the beginning. In fact, industry professionals say that 20% – 30% of the business they get is fixing mistakes from botched do it yourself jobs.

An easy rule of thumb is if you call a general all-purpose handyman and they won’t do the job, than it’s probably not a very good idea to try it yourself. Even if you consider yourself a handy person there are some projects you need to think twice about doing.

  • Electrical: one mistake and it could cause a serious fire hazard
  • Plumbing: water damage is very expensive
  • Structural changes: you do not want to risk compromising the structural integrity of your home

Another scary consideration is if you make a mistake that affects the future owners of the house, you can potentially be financially responsible for repairs and restitution. On the other hand there are many things even people with the most basic skills can undertake. Painting, changing out hardware and even installing trim and crown molding are all DIY projects that will save you money and can be fun at the same time. Just be sure to consider the real cost of whatever you are trying to undertake, not only of materials but take stock of your time as well.

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