Renovating your own home seems like a sound business proposition until you’re ankle-deep in sawdust and burning a hole in your bank account with do-overs and fix-ups. That’s why homeowners need to know which jobs are DIY and which jobs are DI-don’t. Cherie Barber, a professional renovator from New Zealand, has renovated over 40 properties, and as such has more than her share of renovation experience. She said, “Renovating isn’t hard, but there are a lot of steps in the process.”
The 10 Percent Rule
Barber said smart homeowners don’t spend more than 10 percent of their property value on any cosmetic renovation because, “Every dollar you spend over comes out of your profit margin.” And doing slipshod work just to avoid over-spending isn’t the answer either. “Why you may save money on your reno, it can come back and bite you on the resale price,” Barber explained.
Plumbing And Electrical
With this in mind, Barber warned homeowners never to do their own plumbing or electrical work. These tasks require expert knowledge and handling to prevent circuit overloads, leaks, and fire hazards. Only a trained professional will know all the construction codes and building permits needed to complete this kind of work.
Floor Sanding And Staining
Don’t be tempted into thinking sanding your own floor will be easy either. What you save on cheap labor will far be outweighed by the reduction in resale value if your floor or new stain are uneven. “First impressions say a lot,” Barber said, “and there’s no way you can get a professional finish if you DIY.”
Another little-known fact about remodeling is that when you do structural changes, you’ll need a certificate of home warranty insurance, a consideration few homeowners know about. “If you sell a property within six years of renovation you will require this certificate,” Barber explained.” If not, a disclaimer will be noted on your contract and could put off potential buyers.” Licensed builders will be aware of this and other certificates, thus giving you peace of mind, in addition to a well-built remodel.
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