It’s a do-it-yourself world, whereas occasionally deciding to do it yourself can end up costing more money and headache than if you had just called a professional.
Jackie Naylor of Jackie Naylor Interiors in Atlanta says it is true that most homeowners get the fever at some point to remodel their homes, and most want to attempt the job themselves. “To avoid costly mistakes and redo,” said Naylor, “I would suggest the homeowner obtain some expert advice either from a designer, talented contractor or any professional educated in the field that they are thinking of attacking.”
Many times a professional will work with the homeowner to outline a timeline of the project and the tasks in the timeline. Naylor said that major areas of remodeling such as the demolition of an area in the house, permitting, electrical or plumbing should always be left to the professionals. On the other hand, she believes that painting is an easy task as well as drapery fabrication, upholstery of furniture and furniture refinishing.
Atlanta-based Ace Hardware’s design expert Katie Reynolds offers these suggestions of do’s and don’ts when it comes to tackling projects on your own beginning with lighting makeovers. Reynolds believes that replacing old light fixtures and ceiling fans is easier than one might think with just a little wiring know-how.
“A front door face light is doable on your own,” she said. “Switching out front door hardware and repainting the door in a fresh, fun color is easy and gives your entry new life. Ace Hardware has a great selection of front door hardware and knockers to complete the job. Try a fun color like Clark + Kensington (Alaskan Mist 27C-1).”
Shiplap is another project Reynolds believes is manageable. A hot trend that gives instant character and farmhouse charm to any space, Reynolds said this works thanks to the look is intentionally rustic and imperfections are expected.
With respect to when to make that call and hire a professional, Reynolds said don’t try to hang wallpaper since it is not as easy as it looks.
“From achieving perfectly smooth walls to pattern matching, it’s hard,” she explained. “Although a seasoned DIYer can sometimes do it, leaving this for the pros is advised for a seamless final product as is scraping a popcorn ceiling, which is a messy and time consuming project.”
Retiling a bathroom might seem easy, but it’s not and Reynolds encourages folks to leave this to someone who knows what they are doing. Getting a bathroom floor level and the tile evenly spaced can prove difficult with various cuts and turns. Also, installing countertops or carpet or refacing cabinets is a job better left to the professionals.
Finally, the question becomes: Is it worth the time and effort? If you only have a few weekends for a project, don’t bite off more than you can chew.
“Read books, take classes and call a local home improvement store,” said Naylor. “Being organized with a remodel is important, and having good, confident people to work with is key,” Naylor said. “I encourage anyone to take the tasks of a redo on, but just be aware there are pitfalls with ordering, surprises when uncovering a wall and many more unknowns. It is a learning curve and I am still learning after 20 years.”