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Five home improvement projects you shouldn’t do yourself (and five you can)


Five home improvement projects you shouldn’t do yourself (and five you can)

The booming popularity of television networks like HGTV and DIY have inspired thousands of homeowners to try their hand at remodeling their homes. But while there are certainly many home improvement projects that you can tackle yourself, there are many that you shouldn’t. Homeowners like DIY projects because it saves money when you don’t need to hire a contractor and it can be fun to get your hands dirty and do the work yourself. But what starts as an attempt to save money can quickly go the other way and cost you a fortune when a contractor has to come in and fix what you’ve done improperly. So keep in mind that DIY projects aren’t always the most cost efficient.

Big projects, big headaches

As a general rule, the bigger the project, the less likely you can do it yourself. If a job will require special skills, especially if it requires a license, you should leave it to a professional contractor. In a survey of homeowners who had recently undertaken some home improvement project, just over 50% were unsatisfied with the results of a major remodel that they had tried to do themselves. However, 80% of homeowners who did a minor remodel were satisfied with the results.

The five most regretted projects

According to the same survey, here are the five projects that made homeowners the least satisfied after having done them:

Adding a room or expanding onto one. Any time you’re adding square footage to your home, there’s going to be some tearing down walls and some major construction work. Unless you have some experience with this kind of work, you don’t want to take a sledge hammer to that wall. Refacing or replacing cabinetry. Cabinetry is a tricky job that requires some experience with carpentry and preferably cabinet making. It’s harder to do than you might think. Refinishing a basement or attic. If you’ve got an unfinished basement, attic, or both, bring in a contractor to help you turn it into whatever it is you want to turn it into. Replacing or installing new carpeting. Carpeting is another job that seems like it wouldn’t be too hard to do yourself, but it is. It requires special tools and expertise and is best left to professional carpet installers. Refinishing or installing new flooring. Whether you want a new tile floor or some nice hardwood floors, it’s another job that requires special training and the proper tools. Leave this one to the pros.

The five least regretted projects

The following minor home improvement projects are ones that most homeowners can do themselves and according to the survey, makes homeowners the most satisfied: Replacing light fixtures Replacing cabinet hardware Repainting one or more rooms Installing new kitchen appliances (stainless steel will add the most value to your home) Replacing plumbing fixtures

So if the project is one you feel you can do yourself, go for it. If not, do your research and hire a professional with a good reputation in the community to manage the project.

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