After you have defined your home improvement project, the thought of doing the project by yourself or with a “HANDY” friend or neighbor may cross your mind. DO-IT-YOURSELF projects are a popular trend in the Home Improvement Industry. However, before you put on your tool belt, you should look at all aspects of your project and ask yourself the following 10 questions.
1) Do you have reliable work habits? Do you tend to stress out easily, lose your temper, or become confused under pressure? Will you have the patience and persistence to complete the project in a timely fashion? What will happen if it is not completed in a timely fashion?
2) What will you do if your project goes awry? Remember most contractors are wary about completing and/or redoing someone else’s mistakes, including yours.
3) Are you attempting to do the project yourself for financial reasons? If so, have you looked at the entire cost, including the cost of materials, your time, and the tools you may need to purchase, and then possibly never use again?
4) What happens if you make a mistake and have to spend more time and effort to correct it? How much money are you really going to save then?
5) Do you know all the construction steps involved in the project? For most projects this is not the time to be using an installation manual.
6) How many projects of this type have you done? I hope at least 1 project.
7) Do you have the skills to complete this project? For most projects this is not the time for on-the-job training.
8) Is it safe for you to do the project? Some projects can cause serious injury or be fatal if proper precautions are not taken.
9) Are you familiar with the local building codes and permit requirements? If you do not follow the building code you may be forced to tear down the project and rebuild it to meet the proper code specifications.
10) Do you have the time to do the project?
If your answers to these 10 questions still leave you feeling comfortable about doing your project, than I would say go ahead! However, if time is of the essence, it normally takes a “Do-it-yourself” project longer to complete because most people are not familiar with all the “nuances” that one would learn from doing the project more than once. Think long and hard about doing a project yourself, especially if it is a large project. Large projects require more time and effort and are usually best left to a professional.
Hank Jaworowski has been a Nationally Certified Remodeler (CR) through the National Association of The Remodeling Industry (NARI) since 1994. Mr. Jaworowski has been actively involved in the home improvement industry for nearly 30 years. He was the past president of Contemporary Home Remodeling Corp from 1978-2003. He retired from contracting in 2003 and founded The Home Improvement Success Club of America?. This nationwide club provides its members with a variety of resources that allows them to complete their home improvement projects without frustration and costly mistakes. If you would like to become a member of this club go to