Being handy is an admirable quality. Knowing how to build and fix things is a life skill that can give you some sense of independence and purpose.
With the boom of reality TV, more Californians, Floridians, and New Yorkers are feeling encouraged and emboldened to repurpose old drawers for bathroom storage, install vinyl flooring, and do a host of other DIY projects.
Although there’s nothing wrong about getting your hands dirty to improve your house, you’ll likely have a problem if things go out of hand. If you’ve never handled a major DIY project before, learn the lesson other first-time DIYers found out the hard way before you begin.
It May Not Save You Money
Money is a powerful motivator. Many people don’t like to hire and pay a credentialed professional out of pride (believing that they should not outsource a doable task) or fear (thinking that a contractor will defraud them).
While both are valid emotions, realize that sweat equity may not come cheap. Unless you already have the necessary tools to carry out your project, you’ll probably have to buy new ones, which you might rarely use again.
Also, buying materials retail can inflate the cost of your project due to high markups and no access to discounts afforded to wholesale buyers.
It Could Endanger Warranty Validity
Botching your project may hinder you from applying for a warranty claim. The manufacturer of a product provides instructions that must be followed strictly. Failing to do one thing properly could be common grounds for warranty nullification.
You might consider splitting the job with a professional, but don’t expect to receive a workmanship guarantee.
If you DIY something, you should be prepared to take responsibility for your mistakes, big or small, and face the music.
It May Lower Your House’s Value
Are you planning to put your property on the market in the future? An amateurishly done home project could hurt your home appraisal.
It Could Provoke the Ire of the Authorities
Some home improvements require a permit for a reason. You need the go-ahead from the authorities to ensure that the changes you’ll make will be consistent with the building code to help keep your family and neighbors safe and comfortable.
Not pulling a permit when it’s a must can have dire consequences. You might pay a hefty fine, be forced to redo everything, and double or triple your initial expenses.
Don’t think that you won’t get caught. All it takes is one disgruntled neighbor or eagle-eyed inspector to bring your secret out in the open.
It May Not Be Worth the Trouble
When you DIY, make sure you have the time, energy, space, and patience to see it through. Otherwise, it won’t be worth tackling, to begin with. Use a contractor instead to ensure that your project finishes on schedule with as little disruption to your life as possible.
Finishing a home improvement by yourself can enrich your life. However, you ought to know your limits to avoid biting off more than you can chew and wasting your dollars.