11 October 2019

Should You DIY a Home Renovation Project?

At first glance, renovating the rooms in your home seems like an attractive and challenging means of increasing your home’s value. It’s a tale as old as homeownership. Where there is a clumsy kitchen layout or an ugly tiling scheme in a 70’s era bathroom, there is a DIY-er itching to fix it!

Having completed two successful bathroom remodels, I can tell you that your mileage will vary. Not all remodels are clean, quick, and easy—or any of the above. The second bathroom renovation project we completed proved to be much more complex and taxing than the first. In the end, however, I am glad we undertook the project ourselves.

But how do you know when the payoff will be worth the hassle of renovation? The process of renovating a room in your home with the aid of professionals can be prohibitively costly. You don’t want to be visiting the website of a bankruptcy lawyer if you can help it. Then again, sometimes you won’t realize that you should have hired a professional to do the work until you are forced to hire a professional to fix the mess you made.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to outsource or DIY a home renovation project.

The Room 
Even if you are committed to DIYing your home renovation project, you should consider carefully the complexities involved in revamping the room in question. Remodeling a bedroom will be simpler than, say, remodeling a kitchen. It will be cheaper, too! Kitchens, roofs, and attics are the costliest rooms to remodel for fairly obvious reasons.

Remodeling your kitchen alone will cost you tens of thousands of dollars. You can expect this degree of investment regardless of whether or not you hire a professional remodeling service. The complexities of plumbing and designing a useable cooking space appealing for families is just too demanding to cut corners.

You won’t face these challenges when renovating a bedroom or even a small bathroom. Intuitively, the process of remodeling a smaller room will be more streamlined and straightforward. Even if your timeline is tight, these types of renovations will prove most rewarding with the least amount of headache.

If you’re looking to redo your kitchen or large bathroom, and your main priority is maximizing your ROI, you’re on the right track. Renovating your kitchen and bath will likely net you a great return. Okay, so you know what room you’d like to take a sledgehammer to: is it worth doing it yourself, or should you outsource?

A seasoned DIYer will naturally be more equipped to judge the demands of a renovation project. So, when you’re considering the constraints of your timeline and what sort of commitment a remodel will demand, you must also know the “why” behind your DIY dreams.

The Why 
Ask yourself: why are you renovating this room in your home? Are you looking to increase your home’s value? It’s an alluringly simple idea: do some work on your home on the cheap so that you can boost its resell value when it comes time to sell. Better yet, do the work yourself to really boost that return on investment (ROI)!

Of course, it isn’t that simple. When you’re looking to remodel for monetary gain in the long run, you should be more critical regarding your expectations. Consider carefully your timeline for reselling your home if you undertake a DIY home renovation project. Ask yourself honestly if you and your family can expend the time and energy to meet the demands of a DIY renovation on your ideal timeline. Then imagine what you would do if something were to go wrong: even if you have a solid DIY budget, you should be prepared to set aside contingency funds. You need a safety net to hire a professional if something in the process goes awry.

On the flip side, maybe you are just looking to make your forever home more attractive. If reselling your home and the ROI does not come into the equation at all, DIY home renovations are probably a good option for you. Your timeline is likely less stringent than it would be if you were looking to resell, and if something goes off-track there is less pressure to hire a professional.

DIY renovation projects can be a great way to increase your home’s value cheaply. Sometimes, they can even be a great group project for the whole family! However, once you begin a renovation project, there is no going back. If you decide to take the plunge, keep a contingency fund in case something goes wrong and you need to call in backup!

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