Friday, November 18, 2016 - by Chris Mabee, president of Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga
Dozens of do-it-yourself TV programs continually inspire consumers with new design ideas for their homes. Thousands of big-name home improvement retailer locations make it more convenient to find supplies. And millions of how-to videos online highlight seemingly simple step-by-step instructions that incite confidence in even the most novice of “handymen.”
But did you know that nearly 30 percent of remodeling jobs performed by building professionals in Chattanooga were the result of a DIY project gone wrong? Often times, the slightest mistake will lead to some big debacles, making the project much more difficult and costly to complete. Before attempting a DIY home improvement project, home owners are wise to ask themselves three very important questions.
1) How much free time do I have?
DIY projects often take longer than expected, especially for a home owner trying to complete a project in his or her spare time in the evenings or on weekends. Depending on the size of the project, this could mean living in a home of dust and disarray for several weeks or even months. Those who hire a professional will rest easy knowing they have a contract with a completion date, and that the remodeler has all the resources to get the job done in a timely manner.
2) Is my safety at risk?
Without the proper training and preparation, using new tools and techniques can lead to injuries—some of which could be life-threatening. Every home owner must honestly consider his or her skill level and experience before taking on a project, especially for tasks that involve working with electricity or making structural changes to walls, roofs and/or floors.
What will be the total cost?
Professional remodelers have all the tools they need to complete the work, while a home owner may need to purchase tools—some of which might be very expensive but will only be used for one project. In an effort to minimize costs, a home owner might try using only the tools he or she already owns, but that aren’t designed for the specific job at hand. Projects attempted without having the proper tools will typically take much longer to complete and create less-than-ideal results. Also, if a product is installed incorrectly, its warranty could be void and the home owner risks having to buy new materials and start all over.
DIY projects can be fun as long as they suit your skill level. There are many home maintenance projects that are relatively simple and can be completed easily, even by those who have little or no previous experience. For home owners considering projects that are more involved, there is added value and peace of mind in knowing that a project will be done right the first time by hiring a professional.
For information about finding a professional remodeler in your area, visit the Home Builders of Greater Chattanooga’s online member directory at HBAGC.net.