Consider how much time your kitchen remodel requires
Binge-watching home improvement shows makes us believe that renovation projects can be accomplished in a few spare hours. The reality is just the opposite, says Fuchs.
“Some people think it’s more cost-effective to do things on their own, but I have a different perspective: What’s your time worth? If you’re employed and you work eight hours a day, you might work for another eight hours after that, because you’re not as efficient as a pro,” he says.
Smaller projects such as putting up backsplash tiles or swapping cabinet hardware don’t require a huge time investment. But hanging cabinets, changing a sink and faucet, or installing a new countertop could take a lot longer than anticipated.
The work will also probably disrupt your daily routine, plus you need to be ready to live with the mess until the kitchen is complete.
You may pay less (or more) for materials
If you’re good at researching materials and products online to find the best deals, your DIY kitchen could end up costing you less in the long run.
Fuchs notes contractors usually get special ‘for the trade’ pricing from suppliers. But if you don’t mind spending time buying and transporting supplies, some big-box stores will allow you to open an account if you’re planning to purchase lots of items, so you can negotiate a small discount.
“Because of the relationships we’ve built over the years, we get more than just a discount on material,” he explains. “We also have more control on availability.”
Fuchs also said contractors often have access to higher quality materials than what’s available to consumers.
Know when to call in a pro
Renovating an older home? It’s probably better to hire an experienced general contractor that can spot potential problems, suggests Fuchs.
“Does the house have asbestos, mould, or rot? These things sound really bad, but you can prep for them before you actually start. However, people often jump into renovating their home without knowing what they’re doing, and that’s when the extra costs come up.”
Generally, the average DIYer should bring in professional help for plumbing, electrical, or gas hook-ups, along with asbestos or mould remediation.
Ask for extra help during your DIY
As you embark on your DIY project, it’s important to note, a number of companies also offer their services online. From plumbing, electrical to general contracting, a quick Google search will connect you with a professional to help avoid any DIY disasters.
Whether you take on a project yourself, entrust a professional contractor or go with a little bit of both, take the time to research all your options before you grab a sledgehammer.