The cost of home remodeling has dropped 10 to 15 percent, reports MSN Real Estate, while material costs have gone up almost 17 percent. This motivates homeowners to look into doing remodeling projects themselves. The following tips will help you to decide whether you should tackle that project yourself or pick up the phone and call a contractor:
Get on Top of Your Budget
It’s frustrating getting half-way through a project to realize you’ve already spent 80% of your budget. You may change your mind about some part of the design. Or you discover additional problems in your home that need to be repaired along with the remodel. You could even underestimate the amount of paint you need to cover old walls.
She Knows Home and Garden suggests adding 10 to 25 percent to your budget for such events. Make sure you factor in any tools you’ll need to purchase or rent. Check on the availability of any large tools at construction equipment rentalcompanies. Your project will be delayed if a concrete mixer is nowhere to be found when you need it.
Know Your Limits
It may look simple, but can you really do the job safely and accurately? If you’re building a laundry room , will you need two-phase or three-phase lines run to it? Do you need a separate breaker box or can you use the one already supplying the house? Can you do this work without getting hurt? The National Institute of Health (NIH) says that just brief contact with a live electrical wire is enough to stop your heart.
Break down your remodeling project and look for those area where a licensed professional should be brought in to do the task. They know what they’re working with, the best approaches to take and the city codes that must be followed to pass inspection. They also know how to safely do the work without getting hurt.
Doing It By The Code
Many aspects of home remodeling are governed by city or state codes. Examples of building codes include:
the number of supports put into the ground to support a specific size deck
the minimum slope of the roof based on the snow load in that region
the type of shielding required around wiring that travels through the walls
There are hundreds of codes that contractors must know. Professional contractors, roofers and electricians know these codes in your area. Should you do the work yourself and it’s not within code, you will have to do the work over when it fails a building inspection. Worse than that, if your house burned down due to faulty wiring and it’s discovered that the wiring was not done to code, your insurance won’t cover the loss. It might be cheaper in the long run to use a professional throughout your home remodeling project.
Tear Down Tips
You want to tear down a wall to open up a room, or cut through the ceiling to put in a staircase. How will you handle the material disposal? What if you discover that the walls were once painted with a lead-based paint? Or that the ceiling contains asbestos? You’ll need special permits to handle and dispose of those materials. Before you tackle those tasks, have a contractor inspect your remodeling plan and the house to determine what problems you might discover.
Plan Your Time and Schedule
Much like your budget, planning your time should include contingencies for weather-delays, family emergencies, and material shortages. Rain may keep you from pouring a foundation or your daughter breaks her arm on the day you were going to run the plumbing to the new laundry room. The local remodeling store can’t find the last two boxes of slate tile that their inventory screen says is in stock. All of these will make your project run longer.
Did you take into account the seasons when planning? Can you get the walls up on the new addition before the snow starts? Look at the calendar and give yourself plenty of room to get your project done. Mother Nature rarely cooperates when you want to get something done quickly.