Gerard Construction Blog


The Downside of DIY

It can be easy to get trapped in do-it-yourself renovations and remodels. One minute you are innocently watching a show on HGTV or a video in your media feed. Soon, you begin thinking to yourself, “I could do that.” Before you know it, your bathroom sink is in pieces around you, and holes are punched out in your sheetrock as your DIY trance comes to a screeching halt with the reality check that you have no idea what you are doing. While a DIY can be enjoyable and has benefits, there are several factors to be taken into consideration when weighing whether or not to pull in a contractor and their team.

How a Contractor Helps

When you use a contractor, you are gaining years of experience and connections. As The Spruce, a DIY and Refurnishing site contends, “Contractors have a wealth of experience that is often hard-won. Instead of starting from scratch, you can buy into years or decades of experience for the cost of the contractor’s commission.” Established contractors have seen issues pop up, have run into setbacks, know how to quickly troubleshoot, and can adjust to the flexibility a home renovation needs while staying on target for deadlines and budgets. Each home is unique and while a project may seem straightforward on the surface, it is rare for everything to go as planned once walls are opened up or fixtures pulled down. Contractors are responsible for every detail of a renovation they take on, from trim work to leveling and this is crucial. In years to come, as a home is lived in and potentially put on the market for resale, those details will be visible to potential buyers and could lead to needing another renovation in order to sell the home.

Contractors also pull from a vast network of subcontractors like plumbers, electricians, and installation experts. They have carefully cultivated a list of experts who do quality and timely work and, often, have a just as carefully cultivated list of subcontractors who they will not ask for a job. This knowledge makes a noticeable difference in how your renovation looks and functions. You wouldn’t want to subcontract a vital piece of your DIY renovation like tile work or installing granite, only to discover the crew hired was just as inexperienced as you. Equally important, there are certain tasks and projects that need paperwork filed and approved through local offices. Contractors are familiar with crossing the t’s and dotting the I’s, whether that is correct language on the forms or exactly how to propel approval through the bureaucratic process.

DIY that is Possible

If you choose to DIY, you wouldn’t be alone. According to a survey reported by Porch.com, the number of homeowners who attempt to tackle a project

before calling a contractor is around 55%. Although, only 31% of those would agree that their project was completed successfully and without issue. Finding a balance, while a contractor is advisable in most ways, those itching to be a physical part of the renovation process can contribute in some cases. Beginning demolition outside of structural work is a great way to begin. Homeowners can easily begin taking down cabinets that will no longer be used, some lighting, and removing flooring. Don’t forget to rent a dumpster and to ensure nothing needs special disposal. A homeowner may also want to be heavily involved in the purchasing of materials used, especially if specific aesthetics or unique fixtures are desired. These tastes may be more easily found at alternate locations such as flea markets or antique stores. Likewise, some may choose to tackle certain projects like painting, backsplash work, or tile work in smaller rooms. These can be learning experiences for the homeowner and a love for construction may even develop. But weigh the costs of your time and potential stress; those have value and our expertise more than offsets the increase in your investment.

Gerard Construction is here to assist in your renovation project, no matter the size. We have teams with experience and knowledge to take your ideas and put them into place. Contact us for more information on how we can be a part of the changes you want to make.





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