Why DIY Remodeling Doesn’t Always Save You Money!

by / Wednesday, 02 April 2014 / Published in Remodeling, Remodeling Tips & Advice

Some remodeling projects are great for DIYers like; painting or light demolition.  It is a very satisfying feeling knowing that you have saved a pile of cash for your hard work.  But for major remodeling projects, it might just behoove you to contact a professional remodeling contractor.  In your quest to save money, a novice mistake could actually cost you more money than hiring a professional.  Even worse your DIY remodeling project may expose you or your family to potentially dangerous situations.  Before you start your DIY remodel project make sure you have considered the following factors.


DIY Remodeling- Contractor’s Material Pricing

Remodeling professionals usually can buy their materials cheaper than you can because they buy at bulk contractor rates.  For example, I get a 25% discount at The Tile Shop as a licensed contractor.  I always pass this savings on to my clients to make my bids more competitive.  A homeowner doesn’t have supplier connections.  They may not even know the right material to purchase because they have no experience comparing different construction materials.  You may save on labor, but you have already lost on materials.

DIY Remodeling- Expensive Tools

Do you have the right tools needed to complete your remodeling project?  And if you need to purchase costly tools, when is the next time that you will actually use them?  A contractor already has all the tools that he needs to get professional results.  And more importantly he has spent many hours mastering how to use these tools correctly.

DIY Remodeling- Building Code

You will need to research your local building code before you start your remodel.  Building inspectors are very rigid with code inspection, so everything must be correct.  You will not be happy if you have to redo something because you are unfamiliar with building codes.  If you are not confident, then it may be best to leave it to the professionals.

DIY Remodeling- Value Your Time

Most homeowners taking on their own remodel aren’t able to do so full-time.  They have jobs and become DIY weekend warriors.  Even full-time professional remodelers often have trouble meeting deadlines.  So your project will more than likely take longer than you first anticipate.  Furthermore, you will be inconvenienced for a longer period of time as you slowly work through the remodel process.  You need to value your time.  Time spent remodeling is time lost on other areas of your life.  Including getting rest for your day job and spending time with your family.  Maybe your time will be better spent on something that you can complete efficiently.

DIY Remodeling- Comparing Apples To Oranges

So you finally finished your DIY project and spent much less than those contractors’ estimates.  That sounds great right?  Let’s explore it a little further.  Comparing your finished remodel to a professionally finished remodel is most likely comparing two totally different things.  If you buy a Kia instead of a BMW, you didn’t save money.  You spent less and you got less.  There is a big difference.  A homeowner may do their absolute best remodel job.  But more than likely it will be inferior to a professionally remodeled project.  It is unrealistic to expect a novice to be able to produce the same results as a seasoned professional.

DIY Remodeling- Know Your Limitations

Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are a popular trend in home remodeling.  And unfortunately I have seen a lot of terrible remodels performed by well-intentioned homeowners.  I not trying to deter the able DIYers.  But hopefully I can deter inexperienced homeowners from making costly mistakes.  There is already enough financial pressure on most of us, so no one wants to incur unnecessary expenses.  DIY remodeling may seem like a good place to save money.  But upon further examination, you may not be saving much money at all.  And DIY remodeling could possibly put your most valuable asset, your home, in jeopardy.  If you have some experience working in construction related fields, then it is possible to take on a DIY remodeling project. But know your limitations and keep realistic expectations for yourself.  Good luck on your DIY remodeling project and/or contractor search.  Your comments are welcome below.


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