DIY Can You Really Save Money?

By: Gemma Leggett

DIY Can You Really Save Money?


When you buy a house, the amount you pay for it is just the beginning. You’re also on the hook for ongoing expenses such as property taxes, homewoners insurance, utilities – and, of course, repairs and improvements…
On average it will cost $9,000 to remodel a bathroom, $20,000 for a basement, and $15,000 for a kitchen. So naturally, it seems like a “Do-It-Yourself” project could be a great idea!  After all it’s the labor that cost the most, right?

Well… Wait a minute!
Yes, DIY projects CAN save you money! However not all of them will! In fact, they can end up costing you significantly more if not done correctly!
Of course, when you watch those home remodeling shows, they make it look so easy that you think: I can tackle this project in a weekend!

Well, before you start ripping things apart, make sure to do some research and calculations. Consider whether the money saved is worth it and whether you'll even save money at all.
First, we all know NO projects goes according to plan, so expect it to take longer than you think. Often, it's worth it to pay a professional. They can finish a job a lot faster. Time is money, and it's important to consider whether your time would be better spent doing something else.

It's also important to be realistic about your skill set. Can you really redo the entire kitchen or install tile in the bathroom? A mistake on either of those projects could cost you a lot more money in the long run, not to mention the risk of injury involved. Many jobs, especially those involving electric or plumbing, are best left to the pros.

Some DIY projects seem big but easy. One good example is installing snap-together laminate. If you already have the right tools, the job doesn't seem difficult. But the project will be much more complicated if the room isn't square or the subfloor isn't smooth. 

Now you are going to say: But I really want to do something!
Even when you can’t DIY an entire job, you can often save money by doing parts of it yourself. Demolition is one example, since it doesn’t require a professional’s skill to swing a sledgehammer – just do so carefully. You can also save money at the other end of the project by doing all the cleanup and other finishing touches, such as painting. 

At the end of the day, remember to be realistic and have fun -- and leave the serious jobs to the pros. The single most important thing you can do to get the best value out of a professional remodeling job is find a good contractor. 
 If you need help to find someone good, call me! I work with a lot of contractors that I trust, and I am sure they will be happy to help you!