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When to avoid DIY

DIY Disaster

Those home improvement shows make it look soooooo easy.

Take an outdated or unattractive room in your house, buy a carload of supplies, reserve a weekend and poof! A Do-it-Yourself remodeling project that is completed on time, under budget and looking even better than expected.

DIY failDIY sounds really great, right? But the truth is, a lot of home improvement projects are difficult to take on without a licensed contractor doing most if not all of the heavy lifting.

Research conducted by  that was reported in the New York Post earlier this year found that 55 percent of American homeowners attempt remodeling projects themselves rather than hire a professional. The study also found that only 31 percent of those projects were completed without big problems.

Even more weren’t completed at all. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed admitted they had started jobs around the house but abandoned them halfway through after they realized it was far too challenging to handle alone.

Before you start tearing down walls or gutting your bathroom, consider talking to a trusted, talented contractor like the pros we work with at Contractor Scan. We take the guesswork out of finding a licensed contractor who can help you have a dream house instead of a money pit. Visit Contractor Scan to find a reputable, reliable local pro to tackle the job at a price you’re comfortable with.

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That’s not to say there aren’t some things you can DIY. Painting a room is easy enough if you have patience and a steady hand. So is removing wallpaper and replacing carpet in a small to medium-sized room. But make no mistake: there are some remodeling jobs you should never do yourself, experts say. Here are just a handful:

Custom-designed jobs. A stunning custom kitchen or bathroom that reflects your individual style and personality sounds doable from an aesthetic view. But much more lies beneath the surface that only a contractor will understand, like plumbing, wiring, room dimensions, termites and more. Don’t DIY a custom job to save money when it is likely to cost you more in the long run. You might have to bring in a contractor anyway to fix your mistakes.

Removing walls to make a room bigger. It creates an open floor plan, but tearing down walls without understanding what your facing can totally wreck a room. Only a contractor can make sure a wall isn’t load bearing. If you take a sledge hammer to a wall that is, your ceiling can cave in. Seriously. That will leave you with a big, expensive mess. You also could be seriously injured.

DIY roofing projectRoofing and replacing shingles. It may seem like a piece of cake, but replacing shingles on your roof is a band-aid approach if you choose to DIY. You’ll need to find out where exactly the roof needs replaced and find the right tools. That is tougher than you’d expect. When all is said and done, DIY roofing is likely to end up shoddy. That will cause a financial nightmare. Plus, you might fall off the roof!

Electrical work. At best, your inexperience will decrease the value of your home when you go to sell. At worst, you’ll burn down your house. Need we say more? Let an electrician do it. They are trained and skilled in both safety and technique.

Installing a skylight. Skylights look so pretty until it rains and water leaks into your bedroom/bathroom/living room/kitchen. Ugh. Skylights will leak if installed incorrectly and over time as the window seal weakens. Hire a pro.

Structural repairs. Only a licensed contractor should upgrade any of the structural members of a house, which need to be addressed over time to account for normal wear and tear. This is especially true with regard to older homes. A contractor might need to subcontract with an architect or structural engineer. When it comes to structural repairs, it’s a professional team effort, not an amateur DIY project.

With average remodeling costs ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 a room – and a big chunk of those expenses involving labor – it’s easy to understand why many homeowners consider the DYI route. In some cases, though, doing-it-yourself can cost you a lot more money. It might require a building permit to guarantee a job was done safely. Or it could injure you.

Bottom line: Your home’s value depends on the choices you make. Think it though, do your homework and hire a contractor with craftmanship you like and a work ethic you trust. Good luck!

About Contractor Scan

Contractor Scan takes the guesswork out of finding the best in the industry to complete your home improvement project. We search for and screen talented, trusted and reliable local contractors for you – which saves you time and money. Visit to quickly and easily find a great contractor to help improve your home.

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