Home Improvement Projects: Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro?
some tips on which home projects are worth tackling as an amateur, and which ones aren’t
Tired of your home’s old paint job or carpet? It might be time to take a crack at it and give your home a facelift. Maybe, like me, you’ve gotten a little ambitious and want to bite off a bigger home improvement project. As a recent homeowner and an ambitious renovator, I now have a more keen perspective on the difficulty, time, and resources needed for an array of basic home improvement projects. After a year spent as an occasional weekend warrior grappling my own upgrades, here’s what I’ve learned:
I was surprised at how reasonable this process was. Among the most difficult parts were cutting the ceramic tile and ensuring that the grout lines were straight. The process of applying mastic, tiles, and grout to the wall was a rewarding endeavor that took little more than a weekend. All of the supplies can be easily found at your local home improvement store, and a tile saw can be rented.
Done right, giving your house a new coat of paint on the inside can be an affordable way to quickly provide a DIY facelift. Some poorly painted interiors have high-gloss white paint that shows every imperfection in the wall. Tidying these up with a new coat of evenly done white paint can provide a fresh interior. Painting our old, out-dated wooden trim white was a simple way to modernize our house’s woodwork.
My relationship with drywall is complicated, but yours probably won’t be. If you’re looking at building new walls or refurbishing old ones in a traditional box-style room, then applying sheetrock and joint compound is worth your time and money. It certainly required a bit of elbow grease and a lot of weekends, but the process itself wasn’t all that taxing or difficult. However, If you have vaulted ceilings, curves, or strange angles, save yourself the headache and call a professional.
If your carpet, like mine, has overstayed its welcome, you may be surprised at what you find underneath. Beneath mine, we found beautiful hardwood floors that can be easily refurbished with a bit of sanding and sealing. Old laminate can be updated in a weekend with modern vinyl plank flooring. In a simple, square room, even engineered tongue-and-groove hardwood installation is an affordable update to old flooring. If your floor isn’t level, or has a lot of complicated twists and turns, you might be in for more than you bargained for.
With all of that said, I had a lot of technical advice and help from friends and family members doing these projects. Always consult with the local Eau Claire County Building Inspector’s office to see what permits you might need, and do plenty of research. In my experience, plenty of professionals in the Chippewa Valley are happy to work with DIY-ers to do parts of the job that require technical expertise.