With the variety of resources available that show how to do just about any home improvement project, many homeowners choose DIY over hiring professional contractors. But just because homeowners can, it doesn’t necessarily mean they should.
A recent study from the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) found that 35 percent of all home improvement projects require the help of professional contractors. Whether it’s to help a homeowner stay within budget and timeline parameters, or install a mechanical system with strict safety standards, professionals play a key role in home remodeling projects.
Cosmetic updates like painting and landscaping are overwhelmingly DIY, while roofing, siding, windows and mechanical changes rely heavily on professionals. The HIRI study also revealed that those who use a contractor are more likely to stick with a budget and typically move faster toward completion. Taking a shortcut to save a few dollars could result in a DIY fail or unexpected costs.
Which projects should never be DIY?
Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak, stars of HGTV’s hit show, Good Bones, and Trane Residential experts, told Construction Pro Tips that this is especially true with plumbing and mechanical systems. “HVAC systems are complicated machinery, as well as one of the most expensive systems in a home. An improperly installed HVAC often means added problems down the road for the homeowner,” Laine said. Starsiak added an unbelievable DIY “don’t.” “I just walked a property with all new plumbing, but it was on the exterior walls. Not only is this a code violation, but it will result in the lines freezing as soon as the temperature dips below 32 degrees,” she said.
In addition to saving time and money, Bridget Rooney, Home Safety Expert for Mesothelioma.com, says the value a professional brings can also be life saving. “Research shows there are still many thousands of homes that could have some form of asbestos-containing materials,” Rooney told Construction Pro Tips, noting that people often buy and renovate older properties completely unaware that they contain dangerous materials.
While DIY gets a lot of attention these days, Rooney notes that the market is proving that it may be best to go pro. “With the HIRI study forecasting a 5.5 percent growth in the home improvement market in 2019, the need for professional help is growing each year,” she said.
Shawnna Stiver is a veteran lifestyle, marketing and news content writer, currently contributing to ecommerce companies in the parenting and babies space. She has written traditional, digital and social content for the following industries: beauty, consumer goods, entrepreneurship, financial services, health/wellness, home improvement/DIY, lifestyle, non-profit, parenting and self improvement. She runs a website that connects people with brands that make a difference in the world: www.kindco.org.