• Why You Should Be Extra Cautious with DIY Renovations

  • Saving money is the biggest reason people take on a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) project. And it’s true, if you have a knack for design and/or are quite handy, you can potentially shave thousands of dollars off the cost of your project or renovation. When you hire a pro, much of the cost goes towards labor. In addition, you are paying for experts in the field and tradespeople who may have the ability to source quality and hard-to-find materials that the general public does not have access to. This may be worth the cost, if you want the best outcome and don’t want to commit your own hours to the project. But if you still insist on tackling it yourself, here are some potential issues to look out for. 

    Dangers of Knocking Down a Wall 

    If you’re thinking about knocking down a wall to create an open-concept space, don’t bring the rest of the house down with it! You’ve likely seen this done on many home improvement shows on HGTV and are tempted to try it yourself. But before you start smashing, know that most communities require a permit for load-bearing wall removal. As a precaution, some communities may even require it for non-load-bearing walls. Speaking of load-bearing walls, you must consult a structural engineer or risk removing a wall that supports the weight of the home.  

    Removing a load-bearing wall is possible, but it is much more complicated than removing a non-loading bearing wall. You will have to install extra ceiling support, such as a support beam, which is a job best left for a professional.  

    Aside from that, many walls have electrical and plumbing components that would require inspection to ensure that you will not cause an electrical fire or a flood with its removal. Some components may have to be rerouted or relocated with the removal of the wall. 

    Handling Projects that Involve Plumbing, Electrical, and Gas 

    In most cases, jobs that deal with plumbing, electrical, and gas are best left to a professional. You really do not want to risk the well-being of yourself and your loved ones to save money. In many cases, a job that is done poorly will end up costing more money to repair the damages.  

    For example, changing out a bathroom vanity or bathtub may seem easy after watching a YouTube “how-to” video, but if you don’t make sure all the pipes and fixtures are watertight, it can cause leaks and water damage that may be dangerous.  

    Hanging a new light fixture seems straight-forward—turn off the power, remove the old light, detach the wires of the old light, attach the wires of the new light, hang the new light, and turn on the power. But if you unknowingly leave some wires loose or do not properly attach a heavy ceiling light, it can very well cause a house fire.  

    It is not advisable to handle gas repairs (and this includes gas appliance removal, installation, and repairs), on your own. A gas leak is invisible and may lead to serious dangers such as natural gas poisoning and catastrophic explosions that may not just affect your home, but also the homes adjacent to yours. 

    Installing Your Own Countertops 

    This may seem like a task that just requires some heavy-hitting and/or lifting but this, too, can have complications if you are not careful. First, bringing in a new countertop for installation is very heavy and not a task one person can usually accomplish.  

    Additionally, if you want to replace your countertops, but keep your cabinets intact, you cannot smash or forcibly pry and lift the countertop off. You have to be extra cautious and remove the adhesive prior to lifting.  

    You must also make sure to shut off the water and gas lines before any work is done or you risk a leak, which, as explained above, can be very dangerous.  

    Hanging Your Own Cabinets 

    Wall-mounting cabinets or changing out the doors may not seem like an arduous task. But if not done correctly, they can fall and cause serious injuries. When hanging cabinet boxes, you need to make sure you are either mounting directly on wood studs (that are in good shape, free from termite or water damage) or using the proper wall anchors for the job.  

    A good cabinet installer will always make sure your cabinets are flush and level with one another. Getting to these fine details may be time-consuming for many people. Attaching the door to the cabinet boxes may be difficult for some as it may require precise drilling.  

    Mistakes Can Lower the Value of Your Home 

    If you are planning to sell your house, it is recommended to hire a professional home renovator to ensure the work done is up to standard. Potential buyers may be turned off at the idea of a DIY job (especially when it looks like a DIY job). A professional home inspector may notice even more flaws during the inspection stage. A bad DIY job may have the buyer considering their own renovation, which will end up costing them more money. They will factor this into the total cost of the home and whether your home is worthy of the purchase.  

    “Yay” or *Yawn*?  

    If you are thinking about a DIY project as more of a mundane chore that will eat up your time rather than something you’re excited to dig into, it may be worth it to just pass the job to a professional. By spending the extra money to hire an expert from the start, you will save yourself some stress knowing it will be done right. 

    Hire a Cabinet Pro 

    We call ourselves “The Cabinet Doctors” because of our ability to carefully analyze the wants and needs of our clients and quickly offer remedies to help our clients reach their home renovation goals. As experts in the industry, we take pride in our work and make sure our clients are satisfied with the results each and every time. Get a free estimate to see how we can help!