Builders Association of Northern Nevada
If you've just moved into your brand
new home, you could be one of many
who decide to personalize your space
through do-it-yourself (DIY) remodeling.
Before jumping in, be sure you have the
proper skills and knowledge of what you
plan to undertake.According to the U.S.
Census Bureau, homeowner DIY projects
account for 20 percent of all remodeling
and industry experts say that between 25
percent and 30 percent of their work
comes from fixing DIY disasters.
Some credit the desire among
homeowners to tackle repair and
remodeling projects to hit television
shows like ABC's Extreme Home
Makeover and the Discovery Channel's
Monster House.The introduction of cable
channels with programming dedicated to
all things home including HGTV and the
DIY Network may inspire homeowners to
take on home fixes and decorating
challenges as well.
"With the popularity of all of these
shows dedicated to projects that
homeowners can do themselves, it is
important that homeowners understand
that these shows hire professionals to do
the work and make it look easy," says
National Association of Home Builders
(NAHB) Remodelors Council Chairman
Vince Butler."Embarking on a home
project without the needed planning and
expertise can be very expensive and can
have a negative effect on home equity."
While a motivated, skilled DIYer may
remodel as well as a professional, you
should ask yourself these questions first:
- Have you ever done this before?
- How much money will you really
save? (To get a true sense of actual
costs of a project, take what you think
it will cost in time and money and
multiply by three.)
Will you know what to do when
something goes wrong?
Duane Willers, owner of Willers
Remodeling and General Contracting in
Sparks, says that he receives a lot of calls
from individuals asking him how to do
certain projects because they have run
into a problem. "They underestimate a
remodeling project because they don't
know what they are getting into. Unless
they know what could go wrong and
how to fix it, they should call a
professional; one who is licensed,
bonded, and insured,"Willers says.
Still think you can tackle a big remodeling
project? Greg Reddicks, President of
High Sierra Construction, cautions all
motivated DIYers with a very similar
message."When you use a licensed
subcontractor you get warranties and
guarantees that you won't have if you do
the work yourself and mess it up! Your
mistakes can make the costs of a remodel
Greg Reddicks and other professionals
admit that when it comes to repairs and
remodeling their own homes they hire
trade professionals to do the work."I have
been in construction my whole life and I
still hire a pro to do work at our house,
because there are certain things even I
wouldn't touch such as electrical,
plumbing and heating," says Reddicks.
If you are willing to put the time and
energy into a do-it-yourself home
remodel, the Remodelors Council advises:
- Follow product directions.
- Get a detailed, illustrated home repair
and maintenance book.
- Do very careful and thorough
preparation: Set everything up and
protect surrounding surfaces.
- Practice with the tools.
- Follow safety procedures and use
proper safety equipment.
While careful attention to detail and
directions can help a DIYer with a
successful remodel, the Builders
Association of Northern Nevada warns
against non-professionals attempting
certain jobs because of the damage and
life-threatening risk these projects can
create.Think three times about these
- Electrical - unless you are a licensed
electrician do not attempt to rewire
your home. If done improperly you
can burn down your house.
- Structural Changes - removing or
adding walls or cutting holes into the
roof can compromise the structural
integrity of your home.
- Plumbing - moving or adding pipes
incorrectly can create an unintended
indoor swimming pool.
Remember, DIY should be fun. If you
don't see it as fun, then DDIY (don't do it
yourself), hire a professional.To learn
more about remodeling, visit
www.nahb.org or to find a local
remodeler, visit the Builders Association
of Northern Nevada's web site at
Just days after this article was
written, Greg Reddicks passed away
from illness. His knowledge and wit will
be greatly missed by our community.