If you’re about to put your home on the market and it needs some updates to garner the price that has you smiling, there are two things you should not cheap out on: doing it all yourself and investing in a professional stager. Okay. We won’t go into the staging part here. But we will say that pinching pennies on a remodel/refresh and failing to bring in professionals to do things right is not a good path to take. As Lexi Klinkenberg says in her Redfin article on the topic, “DIY solutions are a great way to save time and money with very little risk, but at times, neglecting the abilities of a pro can cause costly problems.”
She goes on to say that not all home repairs are created equal. “Basic home projects like putting up wallpaper are relatively low risk and don’t pose the potential for big problems down the line. However, more substantial projects can require a level of expertise above and beyond what the average homeowner can accomplish.” The result of haphazardly doing things can mean serious damage that could cost a small fortune to fix. So she created a list of projects that should be handled by the professionals.
Electrical. Unless your daddy worked in the trades or as a handyman and taught you everything he knew, anything beyond changing a lightbulb is best left in the hands of a person trained in electrical systems. “Accessing electrical boxes, installing new lighting fixtures, replacing wiring, adding new wiring, or anything else more complicated has the potential to harm both you and your property without proper oversight,” says Klinkenberg. “Accidents with electrical work can cause electrocution or start fires, putting both your health and your home at risk. Without the expertise of an electrician, there’s no way to know whether the tutorials you’re reading or viewing online are appropriate for your property.”
Plumbing can also be tricky without formal training. “It’s not unusual for DIY home repairs to cause burst pipes or leaks, opening the door for potential water damage to your home. When these leaks or broken pipes are found within walls or difficult to detect it can become a serious issue.” She advises before trying to do something like replacing a pipe or installing new fixtures, contact a plumber to make sure your repairs are appropriate and up to code. “It’s cheaper to hire a professional for small tasks from the start than to bring in a plumber once a problem arises.”
If you’re adept at replacing a faucet or a toilet and understand seals and water lines, and that’s all that is involved in your bathroom remodel, you might escape calling in a professional. But tackling a bathroom renovation from top to bottom in the wrong way can be disastrous. “An error in plumbing, cabinet and counter installation, wiring, or anything else could be more costly than beneficial,” says Klinkenberg. When a professional home inspector examines your handiwork and finds you had not adhered to building codes, it might be a point of negotiation with a potential buyer.
Foundation problems are serious stuff. “Little foundation fixes or crawl space repairs may look simple on the surface, but these kinds of projects can be serious endeavors and require the training and tools the average homeowner doesn’t have,” says Klinkenberg, who says failing to address signs of foundation damage can threaten the stability of your entire home.
Roofing is definitely not for the lightweights. It can be both challenging and potentially dangerous, making it a poor choice for a DIY project. “Replacing shingles or repairing structural issues can be tempting – roofing prices can be steep – but these kinds of tasks are easy to do incorrectly,” she says. “When shingles aren’t placed properly, insulation is lacking, chimneys aren’t adequately navigated, and safety precautions aren’t taken, big problems can happen.”
There is peace of mind that comes from partnering with an electrician, plumber, roofer, remodeling company, or contractor. Perhaps once you see a few YouTubes on roof repair or basement sealing, you’ll understand the scope of the repairs you are considering doing on your own, as well as the potential value of professional involvement.
Source: Redfin, TBWS