The popularity of do-it-yourself or DIY shows on television has inspired thousands of homeowners to take on remodeling projects without the aid of a professional contractor. This is a great way to save money‚ in some cases. However, you can actually spend far more and wind up with serious injuries and other problems if you try to do jobs that you are not qualified or trained to do. How do you know what you can safely take on? Read on to find a list of tips for considering DIY projects and how to decide if they are right for you.
1) Remember the 3 by 3 Rule. When you are trying to complete a renovation project and you have never tried this type of work, remember that whatever figure you have in mind for money and time you should multiply by three. If you think the job will take three hours and cost $100, it will probably take nine hours and cost closer to $300. This is because most first-time DIY-ers do not factor in the ‚Äúextras‚Äù such as purchasing tools they do not have, setup and cleanup, and pauses for issues that arise. Underestimating the amount of money and time you need to finish a project is one of the quickest ways to undermine your project and frustrate yourself. When in doubt, overestimate.
2) Remember that certain jobs require experts certified by law. Electric wiring and plumbing must be done in accordance with your city‚Äôs code. Unless you are certified, never attempt a job that requires professional approval. If you do, you not only risk serious injury, you could find that your entire job must be redone by a professional.
3) Remember that your homeowner's insurance may only cover professionals who are bonded. If you fall off the roof, break an arm, or suffer other injuries as a result of your DIY effort, you may find your insurance unwilling to pay. This is also true if you break or destroy some system in your house through your efforts, such as your air conditioning or hot water heater.
4) Remember that professionals often charge more to ‚Äúfix‚Äù what you have started. You may find that you pay more to have a professional come in and finish your project than you would have if you had simply allowed him or her to start from the beginning. This is because professionals may have to work backwards to correct your mistakes before re-starting the job in the right way.
5) Remember that professionals often get a discount on materials. These discounts may not be available to you, so always get an estimate for a large job before you tackle it yourself. You may find that it costs only a little more to have a contractor do the job.
6) Remember that you can do DIY with a little hard work and study. If you really want to do your own roofing repairs, put up a conservatory, replace a boiler, install a bathroom or under floor heating, or erect a new fence, you can. After all, if others can learn to do it, you can, too. However, you are not going to do it faster or cheaper than a professional without some knowledge and experience. One of the best ways to get this experience is to negotiate with a professional to come and work with you instead of for you, showing you how to do the job so that you now have the knowledge to tackle your next project alone.
DIY can be a fun and satisfying hobby, but it is very hard work. Be sure you want to tackle a project and see it through to completion before you get started.
Byline: April recommends that you get professional Dallas roofing jobs instead of doing it yourself.