If one were to watch some of the Kitchen or Bathroom Renovation shows on the DIY Network, one would be likely to see many homeowners who are doing part or most of the work themselves in order to save money.
And that show makes it look very easy to do. But it’s usually not.
Many contractors will get requests from homeowners who ask if they can do some of the work during a renovation project, like demolition or painting. Some even want to do framing and drywall work, ahead of time, to save money. And it’s not that some people don’t have the ability to do things, but I worry that a lot of homeowners believe they can do more than they really can.
There are some things that homeowners should be aware of if they decide to “help out” during their renovation.
- If you do your own demolition or installation work, and you haven’t factored in other work that needs to be done first, you could end up spending more money to get it all corrected (they may have to reinstall something or remove your installation to fix the problem or get an inspection.)
- If you have to call or meet with your contractor to ask for help, discuss methods or get advice, your contractor might (and probably should) charge you for his or her valuable expertise and time. Talk about it before you get your advice to find out if it will end up on your final invoice.
- If you are prepared to do a job on the site, you’ll be treated like any other subcontractor and you’ll be expected to do the work on time and meet quality standards. If you’re not happy with your lumpy, uneven ceiling because you installed the drywall yourself… you might have to blame yourself. Or pay to have it corrected.
- If you are not available to be there when they need your work done, you could delay the timing and schedule of the job. You could end up losing a subcontractor who has to wait for you to complete your part of the job (because they’ll move on to another jobsite) or you might have to pay them more to wait around.
You never want to discourage handy do-it-yourselfers from helping out on the job, saving a little money, and being able to brag about their work. But talk to your general contractor and make sure you’ve got some of these concerns answered so that there are no surprises.
Timothy K. Clark is the Director of Marketing for ConstructionDeal.com, a valuable website that matches Contractors with Property Owners for residential and commercial improvement, remodeling and repair projects. For more information, visit www.constructiondeal.com or call 866-663-4711
[tags]diy, diy network, do it yourself, home improvement, remodeling, renovation, contractor[/tags]