Before You DIY that Home Repair, Read This
Here are some worrying statistics for the aspiring DIYers out there:
55 percent of DIYers say their projects took longer than expected.
50 percent of DIYers weren't prepared for how physically demanding their project would be, and 48 percent underestimated the technical difficulty.
17 percent say their DIY project wasn't as cost-effective as they'd thought.
8 percent of DIYers damaged their home while attempting a DIY repair, and 6 percent hurt themselves.
And when it’s all said and done, more than half of DIYers aren't even happy with how their project turns out. So why do homeowners keep jumping into DIY home repairs confident they'll save money and do just as good a job as the pros?
Home improvement TV shows make DIY remodeling look fun and easy, but the truth is, it's hard work. The contractors who keep your home in good repair spent a lot of time mastering their trade, and while you might not be thrilled with the price of a major home repair, you'll be less happy if you do it yourself and cause serious damage to your home — or worse, your body.
If you're thinking about DIYing any of these home repairs, you might want to reconsider.
Why not DIY? It only takes one misstep to fall off a roof and seriously injure yourself. And if you complete a roof repair incorrectly, water could seep in and create a bigger, more expensive problem.
What a pro costs: Most minor roof repairs cost under $500, with roof replacements averaging $1,700-$8,500.
Why not DIY? Pesticides are potent chemicals that can lead to acute and long-term health effects when used incorrectly. Proper application mitigates risk and ensures you use the right pesticide for your specific pest problem.
What a pro costs: Termite control averages around $330-$815, although extensive termite problems can cause structural damage that costs more to repair. Other pest issues vary based on the specific pest and scope of the problem.
Why not DIY? If you're worried about a dying tree falling on your house, DIY tree removal is a great way to make it happen. Controlling a tree's fall requires expertise. To avoid damage to your home, cars, or power lines, call a tree service.
What a pro costs: Tree removal costs depend on the size and location of the tree. Removing a large tree can cost $1,000 or more but prevents more expensive property damage.
Why not DIY? Installing plumbing fixtures, repairing a leaky faucet, and other minor plumbing jobs are simple enough, but stay away from replacing or rerouting pipes or you could flood your home.
What a pro costs: Labor is the biggest factor in plumbing costs, with hourly rates running from $45 to $65, plus a visit fee.
Why not DIY? Outside of replacing existing switches and fixtures, electrical work should be left to electricians. Otherwise, you could risk a house fire.
What a pro costs: Electricians tend to be a bit cheaper than plumbers, with hourly rates averaging $50-$100. Again, expect to pay a service fee and for any materials your electrician needs.
Door and Window Replacement
Why not DIY? A mis-hung exterior door or window will cost you much more in increased heating and cooling costs than you save avoiding professional installation. This can also be a very time-consuming job if you don't know what you're doing, and you don't want your house to be without doors and windows for long.
What a pro costs: Exterior door installation costs anywhere from $500 to $2,000, with your choice of door being the biggest factor. Window installation runs $150-800 per window, plus material costs.
When sussing out your DIY home improvement projects, it’s likely you’ll realize you won’t have the funds to cover all the costs. If you don’t have enough in savings, consider applying for a conventional loan with a cash-out refinance option. This enables you to access some of your home’s equity and possibly even reduce your monthly mortgage payment. Plus, a refinance can be better for your wallet since mortgage rates are usually lower than other loan options.
DIY isn't always a bad idea. If you want to try your hand at DIY home improvement, there's just one rule you need to follow: Don't do anything you can't reverse or that can cause permanent damage to you or your home. For everything else, professional service is the best way to get a result you're happy with.
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