Kitchen Remodel 101 – Part 3

Are you a do-it-yourselfer?

I was talking to my two teenage sons a few weeks ago trying to motivate and inspire them to be more self sufficient.  I tried to describe to them how much money I’d saved over the years by being handyenough to repair things myself rather than always having to hire someone.   I told them about the yards I put in, the basements I finished even the first house I built myself, all with very little professional help.  Their eyes began to glaze over and I decided it was time to let it go.  It caused me to ask myself why I don’t do as much of that “do-it-yourselfer work” as I used to and I came to several conclusions.

Time – I just don’t have as much time as before.  With a large family to take care of and a business to run I just find it hard to make time for major projects requiring planning and lots of uninterrupted time.  I have higher priorities now than reading “house wiring made easy” books.

Quality – I have to admit I was better at some repair and construction tasks than others.  Some projects turned out beautifully but you could tell others were completed by someone who still needed some practice.

Mistakes – I remember a concrete floor I poured once without enough help.  The concrete set up before we could finish it properly and I ended up having to pour a cap on it later.  Total cost – much more than if I had hired a professional do it.

There can be substantial savings in “do-it-yourself” remodeling but it takes a special kind of person to do it.  It requires a huge commitment in time and energy to learn how to do it and then to actually do it.  It also requires you to be satisfied when something doesn’t turn out just like you expected.  The best professional contractors have learned their craft through years of experience.  As a do-it-yourselfer you are going to make a few mistakes and you either have to just live with them or hire someone to fix them.  Kitchen remodels are even tougher than most types of remodeling projects because of their complexity.  Some trades are more labor intensive than others such as the demolition, painting and tile work.  You will see more savings in those types of projects.  In other trades such as cabinetry and countertops the cost is more in the product and the savings are not as significant.

Another positive note on doing it yourself, is the amount of information available.  The internet, YouTube, and cable TV all provide a huge amount of information.  If you have the time, patience, and are handy with tools, it’s a great way to remodel.