Ever get the urge to freshen up your humble abode? Whether it’s new paint in the living room or trendy front yard landscaping, you can never get enough of those DIY projects. While do-it-yourself seems more fun and less expensive, it’s not always the best option. Let’s explore which home renovation projects are safe to do yourself and which ones are better suited for a professional contractor.
Refacing or refinishing kitchen cabinets – DIY
Refacing or refinishing your cabinets is an easy way to give your kitchen a fresh look. For wooden cabinets, the process usually goes like this: disassemble each cabinet and use veneer and stain to reface the sides, drawers, and doors. Next, stain the inside of each cabinet. Then, finish the cabinets with 3 coats of polyurethane to protect the wood from scratches and other damage. Reassemble cabinets to complete the makeover.
Paving your driveway – CONTRACTOR
No matter what the materials, paving a driveway is no simple task. If you choose to install paving stones, for instance, the stones need to be properly measured and positioned – a skill that a seasoned professional would have. The same goes for stamped concrete, as this material requires specific knowledge, precise timing, and a steady hand. When it comes to an asphalt driveway, there are typically certain tools needed, such as a roller, which is used to effectively compact the base soil and to compact the entire surface once the asphalt is laid down. The average homeowner does not possess this type of heavy equipment nor are they trained to operate it. Rather than run the risk of making a mistake or using a product that will deteriorate too quickly, this is a project better left for a pro.
Setting up track lighting – DIY
Adding track lighting can brighten up a room and can be done yourself, as long as you’re careful and have basic electrical experience.
Installing siding – CONTRACTOR
For siding to last, it must be mounted properly. If not, water can seep underneath and cause damage or even the siding to pull away from your house. This can ultimately damage the frame of your home and lead to bigger problems.
Adding a kitchen backsplash – DIY
You can transform your kitchen just by adding a backsplash. First, make sure the wall surface is dry and flat.
Replacing or adding windows – CONTRACTOR
Installing windows securely and making sure they’re well-insulated is critical. When replacing windows, contractors usually install exterior cladding – aluminum that seals against weather and matches the window color. While working with aluminum requires special skill, there are also certain tools needed to form the cladding. A professional is trained to use these tools and can better ensure they’re installed safely.
Tiling your bathroom floor – DIY
Updating your bathroom floor can be just the type of renovation you need for a fresh look. According to the DIY Network, start by thoroughly cleaning the floor and setting out the tiles in a pattern you like. Next, mix and spread the mortar. Then, you’re ready to cut the tiles and press them into the mortar. Lastly, grout the floor.
Knocking down walls – CONTRACTOR
Removing a wall to change the floor plan may seem like a smart idea, but there’s more to it than you think. For starters, you need to know if the wall is a partition wall, which simply divides space, or a load-bearing wall. Removing a wall that bears a load can cause structural damage to your home. A contractor knows what can be taken out and what needs to stay, as well as how to avoid damaging wiring and plumbing.