The DIY approach to home remodels is becoming very popular. There is a lot of good information and improved availability of materials that make it easy to complete even complex projects that would normally require the services of a contractor. The DIY approach is also not only a good way to save money but also a great way to gain some skills and challenge yourself with the feeling of accomplishment coming from completing such an important task. Before you get started, however, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons to see if this is the right approach for you.
Although many people decide to handle their home remodel projects on their own because it is fun and challenging, the opportunity to save some money cannot be ignored. When you take on such a project, the amount of money you end up saving can be staggering. When you think about a typical project that costs £100,000 with the contractor’s 20% markup added in, you could end up saving up to £20,000. This saved amount can go into higher-end materials, additional repairs and remodels or to other things you might need the money for.
When you act as your own contractor, you have more liberty to shop around for cheaper fixtures and fittings. You get more opportunities to shop around for things like bathroom, kitchen and bedroom fixtures. You get the option to shop for the best electrical and lighting fixtures and fittings from electrical wholesalers like Powerpointelectrics.co.uk who sell high-quality electrical materials at very affordable rates. By having this option, you might be surprised how much you end up saving on the fittings and fixtures you need.
One of the main reasons why a remodel project might not go as you imagine is due to communication issues. Because of the need for constant communication and feedback, you might end up losing control of the project and just letting the contractor complete the project the best way they know how.
By doing it yourself, you have better control of all aspects of the project. For example, you will end up with the brand of fixtures or appliances that you want, something that you would have had to leave to the contractor otherwise.
As you complete the remodel project yourself, you will end up getting in touch with companies and individuals who have worked on similar projects. This helps you build a list of contacts who can come to your aid should you need something in the future. You will build a list of contacts who can help with flooring, roofing, painting, landscaping or even for major structural work.
When you have such a list of contacts available, you will not have to go looking for a contractor or professional when you need a project to be completed in the future. Your contact can also come in handy should you need services they do not offer. For example, a roofing specialist might know a painter who you might need on your next project.
Significant Learning Curve
If you do not already have the skills required to complete the project, you will have to learn quickly or learn as you go. This can present a significant challenge, especially if you do not have a lot of time to complete the project. You might also face issues hiring a subcontractor for some part of the project. This is because most subcontractors prefer working with established general contractors so they might not want to work with an individual for various reasons. Lastly, you will have to learn about material disposal. You will have to learn how to do this correctly yourself, something a general contractor would have handled easily for you.
Lack of Connections
Although it is possible to build a list of contacts while you work on the project, these contacts might not be available to you when starting the project. Seasoned contractors have professional and personal relationships so they have connections within their communities. A great example is when you go for a permit or licence. The officer might not want to help you, they may have a closer look at your plans than they otherwise would, and you might not find it easy to speed things along. Building officials and contractors have a relationship that contractors leverage to get things done faster.
Home improvement or remodelling projects are very stressful. Many couples and families want to be separated from the work as it is completed. If you take on the work yourself, you also take on the stress that comes with it and this can put a lot of strain on your relationships as your stress will likely overflow into other areas of your life.
Completing a home improvement or remodel by yourself is a great way to save money, have greater control over the project, and learn some skills. However, there are serious downsides that come with doing so that you have to think about before you go down this road.