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  • Suzie Wilson

How To Know When To DIY And When To Hire A Professional

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Homeownership is a major investment, one that comes with a fair amount of responsibility. For example, you will have to keep up your home’s condition by making repairs. You might also want to remodel parts of your home. If you’re a homeowner, and you plan on selling your home within the next 6–12 months, you should consider what repairs need to be done to increase your home’s value. By making repairs or changes to your home, you will get a better price for your home, but you should keep in mind that attempting to DIY all these projects probably won’t raise the value of your home, so you’ll need to invest in professional work.

Whatever the situation, it pays to keep your home in the best possible shape. Ready to learn more? DIY Connection offers the following tips.

Common Minor Home Repairs

There are many minor repairs you can complete on your own as long as you keep your toolbox stocked with the essentials, such as a hammer, plunger, electrical tape, etc. Home repair projects that don’t require extensive training or specialized equipment usually aren’t too risky to do on your own. You can easily unclog a toilet or replace a toilet handle without calling in a pro. Some WD-40 can help you fix a door that’s stuck. Installing a water shut-off valve can also help you avoid leaks, and small paint jobs are easy for most people. Of course, larger repairs—or bigger issues, like having a tree removed—are best left to the experts.

Incidentally, you should always remember to talk to your landlord before making substantial repairs or upgrades. Different rentals will have different guidelines; if you and your landlord can't reach an agreement and a project is really important to you (but isn't something you can go to court over), you can always look for a new place that better meets your needs.

Kitchen Renovations

Updating a home’s kitchen is a common practice, and there are many updates and upgrades that you can handle yourself. Swapping appliances or installing new cabinet and drawer pulls tend to be fairly straightforward, but if you want a new range hood to help cleanse the air or new cabinets to expand your storage, it’s best to leave those jobs to the professionals. They offer complete renovation and project management from start to finish to ensure that you get the kitchen of your dreams.

If you’re planning to move soon, a kitchen renovation should be toward the top of your list. Many people will judge a home based on the state of the kitchen, so be sure to keep current trends in mind when you start working on your upgrade.

More Repairs That Require a Professional

There are many home repairs that are best left to trained and licensed professionals. A few of these repairs include adding or renovating a new concrete patio, porch, or walkway, or extending a concrete wall. Working with concrete requires skill and commitment because it dries quickly. Consulting with an expert can help you determine how much concrete you’ll need, when it should be delivered, and how strong a mix should be used. A trained specialist will also unload the concrete using the right equipment.

Budgeting for foundation repairs can be tricky. Considering what you’ll invest, it’s wise to interview several companies so you can get the best rate. Variables that can affect the cost of repairs include the expected length of your project, date of delivery, and even the amount of time it takes to unload the materials you need. The size of the project influences the cost the most; for example, repairing concrete steps will be cheaper and faster than adding a patio.

Preparing for Costs

Most people choose the DIY route because it significantly reduces the cost to make certain repairs. But regardless of whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, it’s important to budget for your repairs. That’s where a home emergency fund comes in. By setting aside money regularly for home improvements, you’ll have a nest egg that gives you some financial breathing room. Of course, for larger projects that run into the thousands, you need to consider alternate ways to cover those costs.

One option is to finance your project with a contractor, but you need to read the fine print, and keep the interest rate top of mind. And don’t be afraid to negotiate the price; just remember to prepare yourself mentally and have information to back up your argument. As long as you keep things fair and remain calm, you walk away with a better deal.

Alternatively, refinancing your home can be a great solution, particularly if it’s for something like foundation or roof repair. A cash-out refinance offers a few wins. You can access lower interest rates, possibly reducing your monthly payment, while accessing some of your home’s equity. Do your homework to see if this is an ideal choice.

All homeowners will eventually have to pay for repairs due to structural issues, changes in preference, or regular wear and tear. Don’t be intimidated by large-scale projects; as long as you do your research, negotiate well and fairly, and hire qualified experts, the money you spend is sure to be an investment in the integrity of your home. Remember that you can save money by tackling the smaller repairs yourself so you can finance the bigger problems as they come up.

DIY Connection offers remote or in-person help with your projects, from planning to execution. To learn more or schedule your 15-minute consultation, contact us today.

Article written by Suzie Wilson at

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