DIY blues? Time to call in the contractor

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Necessary home improvements, Repair your home's value
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DIY remodeling has its rewards, but you have to know when to cry for help. Before tackling that clogged bathroom drain or other home improvement project, consider: Can you take apart the pipes, unclog the drain, and put it all back together again?

Solving remodeling problems

Troubleshooting is a major challenge with many DIY remodeling projects. It may be easy to take the pipe’s apart, but what do you do when a part breaks or is too damaged to use again?

To avoid getting knee deep in remodeling trouble, consider which projects are easy to DIY:

  1. Quick fix home improvement projects that take a few hours or as long as a day, such as changing a faucet or painting a room. If the project involves clogged pipes or major wall repair or drywall installation and you’re better off adding a contractor to the mix.
  2. One room remodeling projects, such as foyer tile replacement or new kitchen lighting. If you make a mistake, there is no domino effect that destroys other rooms!

Think carefully before taking on multi-dimensional projects that require more skill, such as:

  1. Installing kitchen cabinets. There are so many nuances to installing cabinets and one mistake can cost you many days of aggravation. Unless you know how to accurately measure, reinforce walls, and install cabinets evenly, call around for contractor estimates.
  2. Cabinet refacing. It’s a detailed job of matching cabinet color and finish and blending it all together.
  3. Repairing roofing. Adding a few shingles is fine, but if the roofing involves tall ladders and major structural fixes, call a roofing contractor.

In the end, trust your instincts. If you’re worried about whether you can complete a project on time and on budget, take a step back. Should you try to unclog the sink drain yourself? Here’s a good “How to” on unclogging a sink from Howdini.com….Just remember her parting words: If it doesn’t work . . . call your plumber!

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