(Closed) Homeowners: Do you DIY your home improvements or hire professionals?

posted 4 years ago in Home
Post # 16
Member
1909 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

We’ve done minor things. As soon as we moved in, my husband replaced all 3 toilets. I’m kind of weird about toilets so wanted new ones lol! He also replaced a pedestal sink with a more modern vanity. I did all of the painting of the walls and also painted our kitchen cabinets and the master bath cabinets and changed the hardware. I want to change the vanity in his bathroon and also replace the countertops and sinks in the master bath, but we’ll hire out for that. I’m not tackling countertops. I also want to replace our stair spindles with iron ones, and we’ll likely get that done professionally as well.

Post # 17
Member
219 posts
Helper bee

We have not bought a house yet, but when we do I fully intend to diy the majority of it. With the exception of plumbing, electrical, and insulation (we’ll probably do high density spray foam). Before I was 16 I had built walls, hung drywall, installed flooring, etc. so diy is nothing new. I love the idea of designing and implementing everything and saving money! I’ve seen contractors work on our rented houses and I think some of their work is shoddy. So a contractor would probably go crazy with me haha!

Post # 18
Member
940 posts
Busy bee

We did it by ourselves. We’ve only done a bathroom and living room remodel so far, will be doing the kitchen next year when the weather is better. No chance am I going to pay someone to do labor. It’s insanely expensive

Post # 19
Member
701 posts
Busy bee

It depends on what it is- our house had to be completely rewired when we bought it (yay knob and tube) so we hired an electrician for that and the water service needed replaced so we had to hire a plumber for that.  We’ve done a done of work ourselves though- drywall installation, flooring, new light fixtures, bathroom fixtures.  My fiance is pretty handy and its rubbing off on me.  

Post # 20
Member
460 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2006

We have done pretty much everything ourselves. Little by little we go from room to room. We’ve been in this house for a year and a half and we have built a new front porch, renovated a bathroom top to bottom, renovated our kitchen, built a pergola and painted and installed our own windows.

The people that lived here did a horrible job with the renovations. We also know they hired the handyman that lives diagonally across from us to install their floor and kitchen cabinets. When we redid our kitchen we couldn’t believe the horrific job he did. Now my favorite thing is to walk outside and make it obvious that we are ripping out all the crap he did to this house.

Just because they are “professionals” doesn’t mean they will do a professional job. We have used top of the line materials to redo the things that were done incorrectly. Neither one of us has formal training but we have trained ourselves to pretty much do everything but electrical. We know we are the ones who will live with the work that is done so we do it right the first time and if we get it wrong we redo it. I am a perfectionist and im also very anal about how things turn out so we do not cut corners. We are now planning our master bath reno and we are drawing up the plans for a closet system for our master closet. I have a friend that always said “you either learn to do it yourself or you’re forever at other people’s mercy” you either do it yourself or pay someone. We rather do it ourselves and keep the labor money here to invest in other projects.

Post # 21
Member
1002 posts
Bumble bee

We’re almost entirely DIY.  Primarily because my partner is the quintessential Jack-of-All-Trades (to the point that people keep offering to hire him to do home improvement work for them, even though he does not have a handyman business).  He has done some work for his parents, for pay, and for my parents (rebuilt his parents’ back deck, remodeled my parents’ master bedroom).

He has rewired our garage, our kitchen, and the entire front half of our house, put in new exterior lighting (I helped!), built a new wood fence around the yard from scratch (not panels), partially rebuilt the old rotted deck, refinished the kitchen wallls, repainted half the interior of the house, refinished and urethaned the old damaged wood floors, built a trellis/arbor, replaced half of the old roof due to water damage, built and installed new kitchen cabinets from solid wood, replumbed the kitchen and bathroom sinks, replaced the insulation in the front of the house, removed the old baseboard heaters and replaced them with in-wall units…the list goes on.  Some of this he did BEFORE he even purchased the house, because the bank would not approve the loan until certain repairs were made.

The list of planned repairs and modifications is even longer than the list of completed ones!

He plans to have an electrician buddy from his work do the replacement of the electrical panel, because of the permitting and inspection requirements, but those are the only times when he gets outside parties involved – when he needs sign-off from a permitting authority, and there needs to be a license.

 

 

Post # 22
Member
5954 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

whocharted78:  So far the only renos we’ve done are added a back fence and had part of the bathroom redone. Oh, and had the roof redone.

Fence: We thought we could do it ourselves. It involved taking out chainlink, dealing with the very old stumps that had grown into the chain link, and setting/building new fence. Lemme tell ya, when we hired the fence company, it was the best money spent. One group came out to take down the fence and put up temp dog fence. They made it look easy! Next guy ground down the stumps so they wouldn’t keep growing, next group put up the new PVC fence like it was butta. We could NOT have done that ourselves.

Bathroom: We removed the plaster from one wall and framed in for the new built in medicine cabinet. Everyone said to drywall it ourselves, but it seemed too difficult for us. Once we hired the guy we were SO glad. He was such a perfectionist and a pro. He redid part of what we did. Oops.

For most stuff, I’ll hire out since we have no real skills. Don’t forget your permits if necessary!

Post # 23
Member
6665 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

We like being able to learn something new and pull it off.  However, we aren’t going to do such a thing for the really big projects.  New windows?  New garage doors?  we let the store bring someone in to do it.  New light fixtures?  Painting furniture/walls?  That’s all on us. 

One day we will be adding on to the house, unless we move.  We’ve talked about having the framework put up, electrical wired and then doing the drywall, etc. ourselves.  I don’t know if it would really be cost-effective in the end or not though.  We’ll see when the time comes.

Post # 24
Member
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We haven’t bought a house yet, but any and all repairs wil be DIY. My dad is a contractor and he and my mom have remodeled every house they’ve ever bought. It’s time consuming, but I know he does excellent work and it saves us on costs!

Post # 25
Member
5035 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2017

We purchased our house a year ago and have done all renovations so far on our own.  This includes new outlets, installing new lights, building stairs off our deck, installing wood floors, demolishing the bathroom and so on.  We will do as much as we can on our own to save money.  Most things can be self taught through youtube videos these day and a little effort researching projects. We will hire help in the future with larger projects such as electrical and plumbing once we start rebuilding our bathroom.

Post # 26
Member
2022 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

whocharted78:  We are DIY’ers but my Fiance is incredibly talented and over the years my confidence in his skill to do the work/research to get it right. We’ve considered rerouting plumbling though and he has admitted that he will not try his hand at that so I know he’s got his limits. I help where I can but mostly he’s got the ideas and the plans and his father comes over and bangs stuff out. It’s made me a lot more confident that we can handle things and that people shouldn’t waste so much money BUT I’ve have to temper my thinking because some people just don’t have the time. My best friend’s husband works 6 days a week most weeks so when they need something done (even as simple as mulching although he does mow) they call someone in. I made fun of her forever but then eventually it dawned on me that if he spent his time doing that instead of spending the time with his son it wouldn’t be worth it. Time is money for sure.. Time is also what we have to give to our families, shouldn’t be wasted.

Post # 27
Member
628 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

We’re first time homeowners so I’m a little more nervous than my SO. If he speaks of a DIY with confidence, he may proceed. If he’s unsure of said DIY and needs to consult Google 5+ times, I’m likely to recommend we bring someone in, lol =P

Post # 28
Member
6107 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

whocharted78:  for smaller projects I’d just DIY. For large renovations I’d feel more comfortable hiring a professional. That being said, we’re lucky enough to have family that can do all the major stuff like flooring, cabinets, countertops, electrical, tile, etc. My cousin has been doing flooring his entire career, my Father-In-Law builds houses, and my step-brother is an electrician. Without having all those people to help out (and save us some money) I’d probably try to DIY some of the bigger things.

Post # 29
Member
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

 

whocharted78:  I DIY’d a lot of it. We hired a contractor to do one part of it, and he did a HORRIBLE job and also never came back to fix it because he had all of the funds he was charging us. Never. Again. DIY all the way.

Post # 30
Member
2540 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We DIY. It is harder than hiring a pro and takes longer but we really don’t mind. Our neighbor is a contractor and he comes over to give advice and we have a plumber friend who may help sometimes or just give advice. It all looks and sounds complicated but really it’s just a step by step process…I could NOT do it without Darling Husband though because I don’t care to run saws or carry heavy stuff, lol.

The topic ‘Homeowners: Do you DIY your home improvements or hire professionals?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors