Doing a home improvement project yourself can give you a sense of accomplishment. When you complete the project and look back at your work it’s something that you can truly be proud of. And since the home improvement project was done in your home it’s something that you can admire for years to come. Each time you visit that area of your home you can see the work you’ve done. There are some things that you may not be able to do yourself however. I’ll look at a few home improvement projects and help you decide whether you should hire a contractor or not on your next project.
Should You Hire a Contractor for Your Home Improvement Project
Home improvement projects come in all shapes and sizes. From a small project like painting the hallway to large more extensive projects like remodeling a kitchen or adding a new bedroom. The size of the home improvement project doesn’t matter as much as what the project is about really. It’s the working of the house, if you will, that are important. For instance, painting the entire home inside and outside may not require a contractor but adding a new electrical outlet in your kitchen island could. I’ll go over some of the scenarios where you’ll need a contractor.
Plan Your Project from Start to Finish
Planning your project can really help you determine if it’s something you can do by yourself. It allows you to see exactly the details of the project and what all you’ll need to address during the project. You can also determine what sort of permits you’ll need to obtain for the project.
Getting Permits for Your Home Improvement Projects
Proper permits must be obtained when you’re starting a home improvement project. You’ll need to check with your local government offices to determine which permits you’ll need for your home. Many times different states, counties, and cities will have different requirements for needing a permit. Some places will require you to get a permit for adding an above ground pool so it’s best to check. You also need to check with any Home Owner’s Associations that you may be part of. They will sometimes have guidelines of whether you can do a home improvement project yourself like painting exteriors. There may also be restrictions in place on the time it can be painted and what color. All of these things need to be addressed before you take on a home improvement project.
If you’re considering getting a home improvement contractor for your project be sure to talk with them about the applicable permits that you’ll need to obtain. Most home improvement contractors are well versed in this area and can tell you exactly what you’ll need or even better they will get them for you when they start the project.
Why Doing a Home Improvement Project By Yourself May Not Be a Good Idea
There are lots of areas that you may not want to address yourself. More importantly, local laws may prevent you from doing some of these projects yourself. One common area where you’ll need to hire a contractor is with electrical components. Most cities will require you to hire an electrical contractor to do any sort of electrical work on your home. By doing electrical work yourself you could end up risking your home to fire. You may not be able to pass the electrical inspections if a contractor doesn’t sign off on the project.
Another area that most home owners think they can do themselves is structural. Removing walls may seem like a good idea at the time but if the wall is a load bearing wall then you could be headed for trouble. After all, you wouldn’t want your home collapsing in on you would you? And plumbing items can also require a plumbing contractor. You don’t want to realize your toilet doesn’t drain after you have everything back together.
There are many items that you can do as a home owner however that don’t require to use of contractors. Most of the items involve finishing work however. Items like repainting, adding carpet or flooring, or even building an island in the kitchen. Anything that doesn’t require electricity, plumbing, or structural should be okay.