When you’re a property owner, little odd jobs constantly pop up that you either have to handle out of necessity, or feel you should tackle in order to make some facet of your place more functional or aesthetically pleasing. If you don’t have a lot of experience or know many handy skills, however, deciding which issues you can realistically address can be a challenge.
Knowing the difference between easy projects and those that should be left to a trained professional can save you a lot of money over the long run.
Five DIY Projects You Can Do
Let’s start by taking a look at the projects you should be able to handle on your own. Though they might appear intimidating at first, take your time, do the proper research, and you’ll find you can tackle them with relative ease.
- Kitchen Backsplash
One of the quickest and most effective ways to change the look of your kitchen is by installing a backsplash (or replacing an existing one). Not only can backsplash material be purchased for just a few dollars, but it’s also super-easy to install with only a few basic tools.
How time-intensive the installation of a kitchen backsplash will be depends on the type of material you select. Some backsplashes sold at big-box stores come in large squares that can simply be stuck into place, while others require you to align and grout each individual tile.
- New Vinyl Floors
If you want to make a big cosmetic change to your house, one of the easiest options is to switch the flooring. You could pay several thousand dollars to have hardwood installed, of course, but you can commit just a few hundred to get a highly similar look with vinyl planks.
Home Depot has a product called Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring, which is a breeze to install. You can lay it over the top of any hard, level surface — including a subfloor, concrete, or existing tile — and there’s no need for an underlayment or adhesive. Just cut, set down, and snap into place.
- Fresh Paint
Though it makes sense to hire a painter if you’re repainting every wall in your home, there’s no sense in paying someone to come out and handle just one or two rooms.
Given all the different products on the market now, painting is pretty simple and straightforward. The key to painting a room quickly yet successfully is to be thorough about the prep work. The better you tape off borders and protect flooring, the easier it’ll be to complete the job quickly.
- Replacing Cabinet Hardware
Looking for something you can accomplish realistically when you have only a few hours to devote to a project? Replacing cabinet hardware is a quick, easy, and inexpensive proposition. It also can make a surprisingly big difference in terms of aesthetics.
Most local hardware stores have a pretty big selection of cabinet knobs and drawer pulls. This article from Better Homes and Gardens shows just how easy it is to complete the job.
- Installing New Light Fixtures
Most electrical jobs call for a professional – we’ll talk more about that in the following section — but anyone that has a little basic experience can install a new light fixture with relative ease. The most vital step is to turn off the power to the outlet you’re working on before you start the job.
Once you’re certain the power is off, all you have to do is grab the fixture and align the three wires: white (neutral), black (current), and copper (ground). Screw the fixture into place, flip the power back on, and you’re good to go.
Three Cases in Which You Should Call the Pros
Just because you can do a home improvement project, that doesn’t mean you should. When a project could be dangerous or lead to serious property damage, you should call a professional.
It’ll probably cost you more up front, but the long-term value and peace of mind are invaluable. Here are three examples of times you absolutely, positively should call in a professional.
- Wall Demolition
We’ve all seen those reality TV shows where the sexy husband and wife team up to grab sledgehammers and start ripping into walls. Although it may look fun from your living room sofa, the reality is that wall demolitions can be incredibly dangerous and expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing.
“Wall removal is something that a professional should complete,” construction expert Andy Lindus writes. “In some instances, a wall can support others or contain electrical wiring and piping that services multiple levels of your home. A professional can assist you with the most logical solution for rerouting wiring or plumbing so that the wall gets removed safely.”
- Electrical Jobs
Any time you’re faced with a job that involves messing with electrical components in your home, it’s best to call an electrician. Whether you need to replace an outlet or run a new cable, the potential cost savings of doing it yourself simply don’t justify the high level of risk.
When you hire an electrician, make sure you get someone who is licensed and insured. If something should go wrong, this will protect you from liability. It also signals the electrician working in your home possesses the right educational background and appropriate training to handle essential and complex tasks.
- Plumbing Tasks
You can handle certain plumbing tasks on your own. These include a normal clogged toilet, a perpetually running one, a dripping faucet, and similar tasks.
But when it comes to more serious plumbing issues, you should always call a professional to examine the situation. Plumbing tasks, like electrical jobs, can involve a lot of risk.
If you don’t properly seal or tighten a pipe, you could flood your house and/or cause water damage to critical components. Again, the savings you might realize by doing it yourself just don’t justify the risks associated with DIY plumbing.
Contact Green Residential
At Green Residential, we always have your best interest in mind. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to sell, or a real-estate investor in need of assistance in managing your properties, we’re here to serve you.
For more information, please contact us at your earliest convenience.