Is shelling out extra cash really worth it, especially with all the tools available online today?
Q: What is the benefit-cost ratio of hiring a professional remodeler? Is shelling out all that cash really worth it, especially with all the tools available online today?
A: The list reads like a DIY horror-story script and gets bigger with each desperate cry for a professional remodeler’s help. It’s filled with hundreds of accounts about homeowners who thought they could tackle a seemingly simple project after reading a decade-old PDF and watching the first two minutes of a YouTube video.
Whether a simple kitchen backsplash install or new bump-out addition, area remodelers every day hear — and see — the disastrous results of homeowners who took on too much to save a little money. Or so they thought.
We get it. Why spend extra cash when you don’t have to, right? Wrong. Your home is likely the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime and you don’t want to chip away at its value with subpar work. For the price we Puget Sounders are paying for homes these days, you could purchase a nice little collection of exotic cars — and you wouldn’t attempt to tinker with the engine or switch out the chassis on a Ferrari, right? No, you’d take it to a professional.
This is a roundabout way of saying that contracting the work of a professional remodeler is always the way to go if you’re not an experienced home renovator. Melissa Irons of Irons Brothers Construction takes this statement four steps further when speaking to those who are hesitant about hiring a pro. She reminds homeowners to ask themselves four questions when approaching a project of any size.
- How much do you really know about what you’re attempting to do?
- What if the project doesn’t turn out right?
- Will there be any unintended consequences and, if so, how will you deal with them?
- How do you know if the project is right for your home?
If you cannot confidently answer any of these questions, you need to hire professional help.
April Bettinger of Nip Tuck Remodeling urges homeowners to think long-term about their decision to ditch the DIY approach, especially if it’s a project of bigger size and scope.
“Embarking on a remodeling project such as a kitchen or bathroom renovation or addition is not something the average homeowner does every day,” she says. “Projects of this size are likely to occur once every 10–20 years. If that is the case, doesn’t it make sense to use the best materials and installation practices available so that you are making the most of your investment today? In the long run, it will save you money to hire a professional.”
Doing proper research and choosing the right remodeler for your unique situation is also key, Bettinger says, and will save you time (and headaches) down the road. “Finding a contractor that will be able to grow with your home and be a continual resource for you is not only a benefit, it means that you only need to do the hard work of research once.”
Cameron Poague is a writer for the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS), and HomeWork is the group’s weekly column. If you have a home improvement, remodeling or residential homebuilding question you’d like answered by one of the MBAKS’s nearly 3,000 members, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.