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When DIY Might Be The Wrong Choice

There are so many reasons for remodeling your home. Whether it’s saving money on energy cost and utility bills, a new addition to your family requiring some extra space, repairing the damage from the storm over this past winter, or finally installing the dream feature to your living space; each project is unique and can dramatically improve how you enjoy your home once completed.

As we’ve talked about before, DIY projects are on the rise. Due to the rising popularity of design blogs like Pinterest and DesignSponge, homeowners are tackling bigger and broader projects more than ever before. While we want you to feel capable and empowered, we also want to help you make sure your choice is the right one for the job. Here’s what to consider before sinking your teeth, and resources, into building that dream backyard patio you saved to your Pinterest board:

Safety First

There’s a reason why they’re called “power tools.” Some of the equipment required to carry out a significant building project is extremely dangerous without proper training.  If you know what you’re doing, we hope you’re following directions and protocol (and wearing safety goggles, always.) If you DON’T know what you’re doing, we strongly urge you to recognize that seek the proper help. (That’s us at Ed Metzger. Here’s our number:  717-791-9495.)  In addition to risking your safety, you also risk the structural integrity of the building if it’s not carried out correctly. A good gauge of whether you ought to tackle a certain project is whether it requires a license to do so.  That can be anything from electrical and plumbing, structural changes to walls and roofs, and flooring issues.

Who’s Got The Time?

Nothing enhances the joy of a family dinner quite like half-sawn wooden planks littering the plastic drop cloth along the edge of a gaping hole in your dining room., right?  And that’s nearly inevitable when attempting a large scale project in the midst of your everyday life.  Home improvement projects take considerable time and attention, and when it’s just yourself attending to it, the deadline can be pushed back indefinitely.  That’s especially true if the process doesn’t unfold perfectly the first time through. Here’s where the skill and experience of a hired professional can save you the hassle, and save your family dinner, and save you from whatever structural surprises might be behind a wall.

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

One thing we can all agree on is that spending money on what we don’t need is an express route to a financial headache.  And nobody has the cash to spend on equipment they’ll use only once, cluttering up the garage for years afterward.  This is a big part of the consideration for whether it’s best to call a contractor, one whose tools will be licensed, of a higher quality than what you may be able to find yourself, and whose experience can mean that the project will be longer-lasting than one you’d attempt.  A note on product warranties: many become void if an installation is done improperly, leading to additional needless costs.

Here are a few disaster prone DIY projects to avoid at all costs:

Lead paint removal

Don’t get the lead out (yourself). Anything that requires a lot of special equipment and is linked to health woes is definitely best left to professionals.

Electrical and plumbing lines

Bad electrical work can equal fires. Also, before you make any big changes there are local building code requirements to be aware of. Plus, if you ever want to sell your house, these things will often need to be redone.

Two-story ladder or scaffolding work

Even if those gutters needs to be cleared or you have a few loose shingles, the risk of falling just isn’t worth it.

As always, give us a call to help figure out the best course of action for your renovation plans.