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Hammer on the deck - why do it on your own?

Why do it on your own?

by SellingYourOwnHouseNow on January 4, 2012

As a homeowner, why should you do renovation work yourself? My answer – Why not?  if you’re familiar with tools, or even have a slight aptitude for building things, light do it yourself projects are a natural extension for your skills.  Most non-DIY’ers will tell you they just don’t know how – but in reality, it’s not skills they lack, it’s the confidence to know that they will do it right.  Your home is the biggest investment you will probably ever have – and depending on how you treat it, it can be an appreciating or depreciating asset!  There is a short article that highlights some great points about why you should do it on your own and talks to some great points:

It might be nice to employ an expert designer when you’ve got no time, however, if you are low on budget you can also ask you buddies to be sincere with you and get them to tell you what they really think of your place. Because of so many websites, there is almost no need to seek professional assistance. There are YouTube videos for pretty much everything, and webpages in abundance that may help you match up material styles. If you devote a few days or two for your project and you also enlist a couple of good friends to assist out (with the promise of beer) you can do it. And also you can make it a lot fun.

As they say, everyone has friends – friends have know how to get things done. Companies like Lowes and Home Depot would not be in business if there weren’t a millions of DIY consumers in the world.  What that means is at least one of your friends or family is an avid Do It Yourselfer.  Think about it, who is constantly working on their house, just renovated a bathroom or updated the lighting in their home?  Ask them, could they help out a bit – teach you what you need to know – even barter to exchange services?

Here’s an example.  I have a friend that is an excellent plumber.  He has been a plumber his entire life and has an awesome set of tools… for plumbing.  The issue is he wanted to install a click together laminate flooring.  Let me tell you, the tools needed for each job are pretty specific and he just didn’t feel confident that he would be successful installing an entire floor all by himself.  Knowing he wanted to do this, but what hesitant, I offered to come over and show him and his wife the technique, and to borrow my tools for the install.  He happily accepted and we began planning – all the while I explained all the details of what I was doing, why and how it was going to affect him and his success.  Needless to say, the floor was a success and with the new found confidence, we went to work on his bathroom (Tile, closet addition), Kitchen (cabinet renovation, new tile) and basement (complete overhaul).

The best part – labor = a couple pizzas

Most friends will work for nothing – just to see a job well done.  Most DIY’ers love to do it just for the experience – the issue is they don’t have the cash to do it all the time.  In this case, my friend funded the renovations and I supplied the experience.  It was a win – win.  In the end, my friend lived in the house another couple years, then was able to sell the house and make a VERY significant profit from the upgrades.  In my calculations, He was able to recoup over 250% or more because of the spend because there were no labor costs on the renovations.  That’s a heck of a return, and all it cost was some elbow grease and time.

So, to better answer the original question – As a homeowner, why should you do renovation work yourself?  The best reason is to save cash! There is a huge opportunity to save money when doing renovations yourself.  Even if you contract out heating and air (HVAC), plumbing or electrical, you will have saved potentially thousands of dollars in the tear out and rebuild.  Another significant opportunity is you gain confidence in yourself when doing these renovations.  Each one you do, you get better and better – and when it comes time to sell your home, you know it will be lucrative!

What types of renovations have you done? Have you seen success with DIY?  Tell us about it in the comments!

Image credit: thefixer