Tag Archive for Home Improvement

4 Times to Hire Instead of DIYing Home Improvements

4 Times to Hire Instead of DIYing Home Improvements

4 Times to Hire Instead of DIYing Home ImprovementsHanding home improvement or repair projects on a DIY basis is a great way to save money. You obviously get to avoid the cost of hiring a contractor. Plus, you also may happen to enjoy doing this kind of work. If you have the tools and skills necessary, doing DIY work is a great option.

It is not, however, always the best choice. In some situations, you will be better off paying a professional for his or her time, as opposed to taking on the job yourself. Before you get started on any DIY project, it is always smart to think it through and decide whether or not it would be better left to a professional.

The list below contains four situations where you would likely be better off hiring a contractor.

1. When Dealing with A Big Job

Even if you have the necessary tools and skills to complete a big job, you probably don?t have the time available in your schedule. Between a full-time job and other responsibilities, when are you going to make time for the task at hand? It just may not be feasible. This is a common experience for those who work on DIY projects. With the best intentions, they get started ? only to find the job is going to take way too long to actually finish.

2. When Dealing with A Dangerous Job

You never want to get in over your head when doing a DIY job, and that is especially true if there is danger involved. Two of the common dangers you could be exposed to around the house are electricity and heights.

It is always best to turn the work over to a licensed electrician when power is involved. Making a mistake on such a job could be extremely dangerous. Likewise, going high up on your roof without the right equipment is a fool?s errand.

Always play it safe. Spend the money necessary to hire someone who is experienced and qualified to do the job safely.

3. When Dealing with A Tight Timeline

Some of your projects around the house may need to be done in a hurry, such as a job that must be finished before cold winter weather arrives. If you are on a timeline, and you aren?t sure that you can meet such a timeline on your own, consider hiring the work out. This way you can get it done promptly.

4. When You Need Skilled Finishes

The exposed finishes of your house need to look nice if you are going to love the visual appeal of your home. Of course, you might not have the experience or talent necessary to achieve such beautiful finishes.

When working on these kinds of projects, consider hiring out to bring in the talent and skill of a craftsman. It may be possible in these situations to do some of the ?behind-the-scenes? work yourself before having a pro finish it off.

Home improvement projects can be a lot of work. But, you’ll be so much happier with the final product when you hire help in these instances.


Do you DIY your projects or hire help? How do you decide when to do each?


Photo courtesy of: dandusha

5 Cheap Home Improvement Ideas You Can Do Yourself

home improvement

home improvementHome improvement projects can be fun ? but they are almost always expensive. Good materials are not cheap, and you might even have to buy new tools in order to complete the work properly. However, there are actually a few potential home improvement jobs hiding around your home that can be handled on a reasonable budget.

If you would like to give part of your home a fresh look without blowing through your entire bank account, please take a moment to review the cheap home improvement ideas you can do yourself that are listed below.

Fresh Fixtures

To give new life to your kitchen or bath, consider replacing the fixtures while leaving everything else alone. This will only work if your kitchen or bath is in decent condition, but if so, new fixtures can have a surprising impact for a low cost. Also, this home improvement idea has the benefit of requiring very little in the way of labor time or effort.

Improve Closet Function

Wire closet systems have become extremely popular in recent years, and for good reason. These systems are affordable, functional, and easy to install. If you don?t feel like you are getting great use out of your existing closet space, try adding a storage system to find room for more of your things. Closet space is one of the important features that homebuyers look for as well, so this project could help your resale prospects.

Creative Lighting

Light fixtures can be relatively affordable at your local home store, and they are another way to give your house a fresh look. As long as you aren?t adding any new lights to areas that aren?t already wired, this is a job that shouldn?t take you more than an hour or two. Also, adding great lighting can be a boost to the way your home looks while it is on sale, so this is another point that can benefit those hoping to move in the near future.

Fresh Plants

Perhaps one of the best ways to improve the look and ?feel? of your home on the cheap is to add some fresh plants. You can pick up small plants for just a few dollars, and planting them in the ground only requires a shovel, some soil, and a little effort. Even if you don?t consider yourself to be a ?green thumb?, you can still brighten up the exterior of your home through the use of colorful plants and gardens.

Swap Out Carpet for Laminate

This home improvement project may or may not fit in with your definition of ?cheap? but it certainly can have a great impact on your home. If you have carpet that is wearing out within a particular room, consider removing it and installing laminate flooring. Laminate floors today look great, are relatively affordable, and can be installed by most homeowners who have some basic DIY skills. In addition to giving your home a great look, your laminate floor should also last far longer than any carpet, meaning you will save money on flooring over the long run.


Have you tackled any of these home improvement projects yourself? What other home improvement projects are on your list and within your budget?


Photo courtesy of: tookapic

What You Need to Know Before You DIY


DIYDIY, do it yourself. These are (most) everyone?s favorite words these days.

You see a cute something on HGTV or on Pinterest and you go, ?Yeah, I can do that!?

One can find thousands of how-to videos on Youtube, further encouraging you to do what you haven?t before.

No DIY project is greater than that of your home. After an HGTV-binge I often find myself saying things like,??Sure, I can move this wall over.?, or ?Retile this floor, no problem!?, or even ?Electrical-smetrical!?

Home renovations, though, are not as simple as some of the small projects you find on Pinterest. They can become costly, ginormous monsters of chaos that quickly overwhelm you, and your wallet.

When starting to contemplate a DIY home make-over, there are some things you need to consider, especially when it comes to your wallet.

Budget, Budget, Budget!

Home repairs, remodels and upgrades are expensive! Don?t underestimate the value of materials, the time it will take, and the labor required to?get your DIY project?done. Underestimating the project will lead not only to utter chaos and hurt feelings, but your bank account won?t like you either.

Plan ahead by doing your homework on what it will take to get the project done correctly and in a timely manner. Going to repaint the bedrooms? Sure you can guesstimate that, and if you go over your estimate it?s probably not going to cause long-term damage to your finances. But underestimating the cost of your kitchen remodel by not accounting for faulty plumbing and wiring, or another unforeseen problem, could end up with you having to take on debt to finish the project.

Do your homework, find out the costs and plan to have at least a little wiggle room in your budget for the unexpected.

Expertise and Experience

If you aren?t afraid of putting in elbow grease and sweat, then demoing your upstairs bathroom by yourself won?t hurt. If you have back problems that you know physical labor will only make worse, then you might want to consider hiring the job done.

Another example is when it comes to things you just don’t know how to do. Just because you watched a video on how to rewire your living room outlets, does not make you qualified to do so. The cost of your inexperienced mistakes could mean the difference between a quick, proper and on-budget renovation and the renovation that nightmares are made of.

The Cost of an Expert

As mentioned, if you are more experienced in renovations and feel comfortable about DIY projects, then you might not need to hire a lot of it done. But if you are having problems coming up with a solution to your dream kitchen, a professional designer, architect, etc. can help you plan and space out your kitchen to make it achievable to do yourself.

Hiring an expert can be expensive and it might mean it will take multiple stages over a longer time?period in order to afford to finish the project, but if that makes it more doable for you and your wallet, then do it! Paying a couple hundred dollars in consultation fees might?save you thousands of dollars in the long run if you are inexperienced.

Find Places to Save Without Cutting Corners

Wanting to save money on your DIY projects is find, but you need to make sure you don’t cut any corners. For example, you generally get what you pay for with materials, so it?s usually not best to cut corners on the?materials for your project. But there are still plenty of other places where you can cut costs.

If you chose to hire out a contractor, maybe you can still help with the demo, sanding, painting, clean up and more to cut down on labor costs for your project. The more you can DIY?to save in labor costs, the better.

Can you reuse the trim, the cabinets or the?appliances if you’re re-doing your kitchen? If not, you might still be able to donate them to Habitat for Humanity or another organization to help their efforts and provide you with a tax write-off. You may also be able to use used materials to save. But you should be cautious?when picking used items so you still get high quality items.

Another way to cut costs is to look at your project carefully before deciding if it’s worth the cost. Do you need to blow out a?wall or can you rearrange your space?to be more efficient in the square footage you already have? Avoiding major construction will cut costs dramatically.

DIY home renovations can save you money if you make your space more energy efficient or more functional for your family. They can also be very rewarding! Keep in mind what you can do, what you can afford, and what you want or need in your home. Do your homework and your house will be the home of your dreams in no time.


Do you have any DIY projects in the works? How do you save money on DIY projects?


Photo courtesy of: c_badeja

4 Cheap Home Improvement Ideas You Can DIY

Home Improvement

View toward the house. You can kind of see the removable projector shelf hanging down from the pergola.As time goes by, you will begin to notice more and more jobs around your house that need to be done. Home maintenance and repair is a never-ending battle, but you can make the task easier (and less expensive) by staying ahead of the game. Try to tackle home improvement projects before they absolutely have to be done so you can keep your home looking great along the way.

By doing these projects yourself instead of hiring a contractor, you stand to save a significant amount of money ? and you just might find that you enjoy this kind of work.

Here?are four home improvement ideas that most people are capable of handling on a DIY?basis. You may need a few simple tools and some basic skills, but these jobs are within the ability of nearly every homeowner.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

This is a classic DIY project, and one that doesn?t require much in the way of experience or know how. One of the keys to a successful painting project is assembling all of the necessary supplies before getting started. Make sure to have things like [easyazon_link identifier=”B000PQTYTC” locale=”US” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”y” popups=”y”]brushes[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”B00IJGYDKA” locale=”US” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”y” popups=”y”]rollers[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”B000ICKO6A” locale=”US” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”y” popups=”y”]drop clothes[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”B00004Z4CP” locale=”US” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”y” popups=”y”]painters tape[/easyazon_link] and more, in addition to the paint itself. By being prepared before the project starts, you will be less likely to run into complications along the way.

A New Floor

A more advanced project, laying a new floor is something that is still within the capabilities of many homeowners. If you wish, for example, to replace your carpet with a laminate floor, you should be able to acquire all of the tools you need for a modest cost at the local home improvement store.

Also, instructions for doing this kind of job can be found all over the web. With a little bit of study and a patient approach, you can save thousands by putting in the new floor yourself.

Upgraded Landscaping

Gardening and lawn care is probably the most popular DIY job around the house. Taking good care of your exterior spaces not only gives you a nice outdoor area to enjoy, but it also can help to maintain your property value in the long run.

Take your climate into consideration when designing your landscaping so that you are aren?t fighting against Mother Nature all year long. For example, if you live in a hot and dry climate, try to minimize your use of grass so you don?t have to constantly water the yard to keep it green.

Finish the Basement

If your home has an unfinished basement, you can instantly add to your living space by finishing off the square footage down below. This is the most advanced job on the list, and you may need to call in contractors for specific bits and pieces of the work that you don?t know how to do. For example, don?t attempt to do electrical work unless you are qualified to do so.

Hiring a professional for contract work on a limited basis is far more affordable than having to go back and fix things that you did wrong. With that said, there should be plenty of jobs in the basement that you are capable of handling, which will lower the overall cost of the project.



Have you ever tried to DIY these things? What other house repairs and upgrades have you DIY-ed? Can you think of any other cheap ways to add value to your house?



Photo courtesy of: Shane Adams