Q:Is it worth shelling out cash to hire a contractor for mid-sized or even small home projects?
A: In three words: Yes, yes, and yes! And here’s why.
How comfortable would you be if a first-year med student decided they were going to perform your open-heart surgery? While this example may seem a little extreme when comparing a typical homeowner to an experienced professional remodeler, it’s not that far of a stretch. Think about it: Your home is typically your largest investment and, like your heart, it’s likely something you’ll want to keep in optimal shape while you’ve got it, right?
Remodeling professionals help you plan (including budget), execute, and ensure you get not only what you want out of your renovation, but that what you get is safe, works, and will keep you happy as long as you reside inside your home — or until the next renovation.
According to Sarah Henry, general manager of Gaspar’s Construction, even seemingly simple projects, like installing a backsplash, carry unforeseen steps and traps for the uninitiated.
For example, not knowing that the top of the backsplash tile will look unfinished, and a finish tile or a trim piece needs to be tucked behind the top row of tile for a finished look. Oversights like this can also add time and cost because now the homeowner (or more likely, a tiler) must pull off some of the tile to fit in the finish piece.
“Typically, (the DIYer) compromises their situation because they are inexperienced and don’t understand the ripple effect of their decisions,” Henry says.
Melissa Irons, showroom manager at Irons Brothers Construction, adds that remodelers can tell you lots of funny stories about siding, molding and other products installed backward or upside-down.
“Sometimes, there are scarier stories involving DIY electrical wiring and plumbing work gone awry,” she says.
Irons suggests that before you buy the latest gadget or tool for your next home project and go gung-ho on your home, stop and ask yourself four key questions.
1, How much do you really know?
2, What if it the project doesn’t work?
3, Are there any unintended consequences?
4, How do you know if it’s right for your home?
If you cannot confidently answer any one of these questions, you may need to hire a professional.
Still need convincing? Check out the 2017 Remodeled Homes Tour, taking place Oct. 21–22. This annual weekend event showcases premier finished remodel projects across the Puget Sound region. Tour the homes, meet the remodelers and find the inspiration for your next home, while seeing firsthand just how much of a difference a professionally-led project can make.
To learn more about the tour and find addresses for the 17 homes on this year’s list, visit remodeltour.com.
HomeWork is written by Cameron Poague and contributing member professionals of the Master Builders Association (MBA) of King and Snohomish Counties. If you have a home improvement, remodeling or residential homebuilding question you’d like answered by one of the MBA’s more than 2,800 members, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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