Guest Post: Home Improvement
Every once in a while, I like to feature guests on my blog. Although this article, sent to me by Julian Lane, isn’t associated with historical fiction or my brand, I want to feature it because I am very interested in real estate. In fact, my husband is working toward acquiring his realtor’s license, and I recently took an online course on interior design. I hope you find this article interesting and helpful. Thanks, Julian, for sending me your article!
Look before you renovate: Consider the pros and cons of DIY
It’s amazing how easy a home improvement project can look at first glance. For homeowners who think they know what they’re doing, knocking out a wall or putting in a couple of ceiling fans can turn a weekend do-it-yourselfer into multiple trips to the hardware store and a situation stressful enough to land you and your spouse in marital counseling by Monday. It’s important to assess your big remodeling plans based on your skill and commitment level, and on whether it’s safe enough to handle by yourself. Sometimes, lining up a professional contractor is just a better way to go. A determination to save money and months of binge-watching HGTV are no guarantee that you’ll pick up on the fine points of home remodeling well enough to get it right without a whole lot of help.
Water isn’t always your friend
If you’re contemplating taking on a plumbing job, think well before you turn that monkey wrench. You can easily cause enough water damage that you’ll end up defeating the purpose of DIY by shelling out big bucks to fix what you did wrong. Putting in a new dishwasher may seem like a simple plug-and-play proposition, but there are more than enough parts and pieces to keep you scratching your head and guessing as you go. There are enough “fine points” involved to discourage the most enthusiastic homeowner from flying solo. Bear in mind that installing water and drainage lines is a lot more involved than drilling a few holes and putting in some screws.
Having problems with your water pressure? Before you start tearing out walls and replacing pipes, consider that low water pressure can be caused by a lot of things, ranging from fractured pipes to an eroded water line. Do a little investigating before you start wrestling with your plumbing. Remember that even the most troublesome problems can have an easy fix. Try removing your aerator and cleaning out food residue. If that doesn’t do the trick, you may be looking at a project that calls for more a more experienced pair of hands than yours.
Be a bright bulb
Electricity is extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Unless you’re familiar with electrical work, it’s probably in your best interest to call an electrician. Installing new lighting or rewiring an outlet isn’t like screwing in a light bulb. There’s a procedure that needs to be carefully followed to avoid serious injury. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans take too many shortcuts and end up getting hurt each year trying to do it themselves. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you don’t know how to turn off your power (or if you didn’t know that you need to do so), then you should definitely let a professional handle it. Hiring an electrician will usually cost you $50 – $100 per hour.
Weigh the cost and the time
Those sparkling model kitchens at your local home remodeling supply store look shiny and modern. Making your kitchen look like that (or something like that) makes you feel good and your home look great, but the temptation to do it yourself and save some money can easily backfire. Consider carefully whether it’s really going to be cost-effective. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to remodel a kitchen in Colorado Springs is just over $24,000.
About 400 years ago, Shakespeare wrote “Discretion is the better part of valor.” If you’re a prospective do-it-yourselfer, bear those wise words in mind and think carefully before spending thousands of dollars on a project if you’d be safer, and wiser, giving it to an experienced professional.