DIY vs. Professional Renovation: Projects to Tackle Yourself and Which to Leave to Pros

Posted by Edmonton Homes.ca on Thursday, January 11th, 2018 at 9:31am.

When to Hire a Pro or Consider DIY ProjectsPopular reality home remodeling television shows make it look so easy to renovate even the shoddiest spaces on the quick. However, these ‘magical transformations' viewed over 60 minutes of air time don't give homeowners a very realistic view of what it really takes to get major renovation jobs done—financially or physically. However, those with a bit of DIY savvy, the right tools and enough ambition can accomplish quite a bit. Yet, there are still several projects that even the most serious amateur handyman should leave to the pros.

When to Hire a Professional for Home Renovation Projects

Certain home projects require special skills, heavy equipment, structural planning, permits and have several complex aspects. The following undertakings are typically best left to experienced contractors, architects, inspectors and other renovation professionals.

Hire Professionals for Renovation Planning

It's advisable to hire a project planner to assemble a team to take an in-depth, comprehensive look at major or large-scale home renovations. Experts like architects and contractors can help establish structural integrity throughout the home, identify load-bearing walls, help break down projects and strategize them. Inspectors can check all of the home's integral systems, circuitry and look for any serious problems that require immediate repairs. Project planners consult with these teams to determine an overall budget and timeframe to complete tasks.

Structural Repairs: An Amateur Risk

Older homes and those on fault lines or with common or complex foundation problems are likely to have structural issues that need a pro's guidance concerning repair approaches. A structural engineer may work with architects and contractors to explore the most effective, budget-minded approaches to tackling structural repairs during renovations. Attempting a DIY repair can be disastrous and sacrifice an entire home's integrity with just one wrong move.

Asbestos Related Projects

The presence of asbestos isn't always noted in home inspections. This dangerous and toxic material is certainly not something the average Joe should ever try to handle or remove. Once discovered, all work must typically be halted until the asbestos is professionally removed and the area tests clean for any remaining debris.

Electrical & Gas Lines, Major Plumbing & Asbestos Related Projects

Besides the obvious margin for errors and high level of risks involved in these complex systems, calling professional contractors is wise. Furthermore, many new installations and restorations involving gas, electricity and major plumbing related projects require specific residential building permits, making a professional team invaluable. Getting permits issued can sometimes be so time consuming and complex that expediters are often hired to navigate the process.

DIY Renovations Many Homeowners Can Undertake

Here a some projects that most homeowners can feel comfortable adding to their to-do list. After all, owners can always have a pro pick up where they left off if the task becomes to challenging.

Obtaining Materials

There are a number of renovation and project materials that Strathcona homeowners can obtain on their own. When shopping smart for new or reclaimed materials, an owner can take time finding the best deals to save money on goods such as:

  • Sheetrock
  • Plywood
  • Lumber
  • Appliances
  • Fixtures
  • Hardware
  • Tile

However, owners must work closely with designers, architects and contractors to ensure the right materials are being obtained in adequate amounts at the appropriate time.

Simple Demolition Projects

Light demolition doesn't mean going wild with a sledgehammer, but rather removing and taking things apart carefully and safely. Owners can tackle taking down unwanted cabinets, build-in's, moldings and fixtures in addition to removing old tile work, appliances, carpeting and floorboards. However, avoid taking any action that affects the home's structure itself, and consult with your contractor beforehand.

Cosmetic Improvements & Restorations

Homeowners can enjoy quite a bit of artistic freedom taking part in cosmetic improvements. There are countless DIY online resources with step-by-step instructions, quick tips and even videos to help the learning curve. From painting and installing tile to applying plasterwork and moldings, owners can get their hands dirty while customizing their home.

Those looking to buy a fixer upper or those looking for the best ROI renovations to make for selling purposes should contact a local real estate professional for expert guidance.

By Justin Havre

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