Leave These 4 Home Improvements to the Pros

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Real Estate


These Are The Home Improvement Projects You Should Be Leaving To The Pros

by Guest Blogger Seth Murphy

DIY has exploded in popularity over the past few years, partly due to glossy, upbeat television shows that convince us home improvement can be easy. However, for the average person, DIY can be a bad or even downright dangerous idea. Certain home improvement and repairs are always best left to professionals, either because of their tricky nature or because they require specialist knowledge to be completed safely.

Preparing For Home Improvement

Regardless of the job, and before you get the professionals in the house, there is some prep you may have to do. For example, with some projects, you may need to clear out space in a room before any work can be done. If you don’t want to clutter other areas of the house, or if the project is likely to take a while, consider putting your things in short-term storage. This is an affordable option that can keep your belongings safe and out of the way.

You’ll also need to think about how you intend to pay for the remodeling jobs you have lined up. Although some people have enough cash on hand to cover expenses, others will have to look into loans and financing. One option available to homeowners is cash out refinancing, which allows you to replace your current mortgage with a loan that sports a higher balance. The difference between your original mortgage and the new loan is then “cashed out,” providing the homeowner with money that can then be used for remodels and renovations. This should obviously be exercised with caution, but done well and in the right market, it can be a reasonable financial decision to make.

1. Plumbing

It’s ok to try to unclog a drain, but anything more complex when it comes to plumbing is best left to a professional plumber. Plumbing requires a lot of specialist skills and very specific tools, and there are numerous ways a DIY project can go wrong, from poorly connected pipes that cause leaks to breaking off valves. According to Networx, the average cost of a plumbing job is around $275. Of course, you can expect to pay more for complex jobs.electrical-electrician-electricity-1435183

2. Electrical

Tinkering with electrical systems is not only a recipe for disaster in terms of your repairs, but it is also actively dangerous. Unless you are knowledgeable with wiring and electrical, it’s best to not attempt it with an online tutorial and just call in an electrician.

On average, electricians charge $65 to $85 an hour. In order to keep a hold on your budget, ask your electrician for a time estimate for the job before calling them. Even better, find someone who will give you a quote for the whole job rather than an hourly rate.

3. Demolition

Tearing down a wall sounds like great fun (and it can be), but it can be catastrophic if you are not 100 percent sure that the wall isn’t structural. Hiring a professional becomes even more crucial if you know you want to get rid of a load-bearing wall, since you will need to install something else to support the weight. According to Houzz, tearing down a non-load-bearing wall costs $2,500 to $3,000, while a load-bearing one can cost on average $10,000. 

4. Painting Kitchen Cabinets 

You may think that any painting job is pretty straightforward, but kitchen cabinets can be tricky. Because the paint is meant to withstand a huge amount of humidity and grease, it needs to be applied correctly and with the right tools. All cabinets need to be removed, cleaned, thoroughly sanded, hand-painted, and returned to their original location. It is also very difficult to get a finish smooth enough to look professional, and you run the risk of downgrading your kitchen by accident in the process. The costs of hiring an actual professional vary widely depending on the size of your kitchen and where you live, with the average sitting between $400 and $1,550.


Stop and Think

When it comes to just about any home improvement, the decision of whether to DIY will come down to skill, time, and money. A handy person with enough free time can save by tackling projects themselves, while someone with little DIY expertise and a tight schedule should pay more for a professional. However, when it comes to these specific improvements, it is simply a case of the work requiring a level of expertise that few DIY-ers have. Bring in a professional, spend the extra money, and get a high-quality job that won’t require further work anytime soon, and won’t bring down your house value in the future when it’s time to sell.

Many thanks to our guest blogger, Seth Murphy, for the great tips above! If you'd like to learn more, or if you need specific tips for getting your home ready to sell, contact me any time at 612.840.3322.

Click here for more about DIY, maintaining your property value, getting a home ready to sell, and other real estate matters.

Posted by L. Lathrop for Jim Burns