Thanks to the advent of YouTube, HGTV and Pinterest, many homeowners feel empowered to take on home renovations and major projects themselves.

On the one hand, it’s a great idea to tackle small updates, cosmetic changes to your home, or short-term upgrades that can save you money down the line. On the other hand, large-scale DIY projects may not always be the best use of your time and money.

That said, we believe there are specific questions each homeowner should ask themselves before they take on DIY home improvements: 

1. Do you know whether or not you’ll need special permits or licenses? 

According to Investopedia, there are general home improvements in which many states require permits or licenses:

  • fencing replacement
  • footprint changes
  • new windows
  • plumbing/electrical fixes or replacement
  • structural changes
  • siding replacement
  • water heater replacement
  • total costs (some states require permits if the total cost of repairs or renovation is over a certain dollar amount)

If these types of fixes are on your radar, you must check with your local municipality to obtain the correct paperwork and keep it on file. If not, this could ultimately hurt the sale or resale of your home. In addition, if you live in a neighborhood with a Homeowner’s Association, you might need additional approvals from them before you get started. 

2. What is the very worst thing that could happen? 

It is essential to consider the very worst thing that could happen if you tackle a home improvement project yourself.

Many homeowners are okay with small inconveniences, but if these DIY upgrades ultimately put you in a position where you are unable to live in your home, you may want to rethink your plans. 

3. Would a professional contractor get better pricing on materials?

This question is one of dollars and “sense.” Could a contractor receive better pricing on materials? If you’ve done your homework and realize you’ll be paying more out of pocket on project materials, you may be better off hiring a contractor.

Professional contractors, in most cases, know exactly how much something will cost and how much of it they’ll need to complete a project.  Homeowners, though many have good intentions, either underestimate or overestimate costs on projects with which they have little experience. 

4. How much of a rush are you to finish the project? 

Under the guise of saving money, DIY projects often end up taking more time than hiring out plans for renovation. Why? Because home improvements may or may not be your full-time job.

If you have other priorities, finishing up home improvements may end up taking a backseat to other obligations. Especially during the holiday season, homeowners find that they are too busy to focus on completing a project.

Hiring out home improvements ensures that your focus can be elsewhere while you let professionals handle the task at hand. 

5. Do you know your most recent credit score? 

Depending on your specific financial situation, you may find that you have difficulty obtaining financing for a DIY project.

If your credit score is less than stellar, traditional lenders may not be able to offer you competitive rates or the ability to finance the amount you need to complete your project.

Obtaining financing for your home improvements doesn’t have to be a challenge, however. 

Don’t feel discouraged about home improvements 

If these questions make you think twice about DIY-ing your next home improvement project, don’t be discouraged. There are contractors and service providers all over the state that can help you reach your home improvement goals.

Click here to find service providers near you. These allies provide financing, in addition to excellent customer service, and they would be happy to answer any questions you may have about home improvements, repairs or renovations. 

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