Thursday, 18 October 2007

Professional Versus Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Renovations

Washroom ready for painting or is it?
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As I walk thru the neighborhood I am struck by the flurry of activity that all the renovations are generating. Painting, roof repairs, window installations, and remodeling projects - signs on the lawns advertise what job is being done and by which company. What a great idea to hire a professional renovation team! I am reminded of some personal experiences with do-it-yourself renovations and some of the unpleasant results. Friends have also recounted their horror stories of do-it-yourself projects with even worse outcomes. There have been accounts of bathrooms with no doors and a hole where a window should be; stories of no walls to define the separate rooms and even the absence of ceilings.

One supposed advantage that gets a good number of people on the do-it-yourself bandwagon is the financial savings. But this can turn out to be a major pitfall. I learned the hard way that the drawback of not having the right know-how and experience to do a particular job correctly will certainly reverse this advantage. When we decided on a minor bathroom renovation, a simple toilet installation produced a minor flood. The services of a professional plumber were called for to repair the damage and finish the job as it should have been done in the first place at a substantial price tag. No financial savings here!

Another drawback is the time involved. I can laugh about it now, but the bathroom renovation that took 2 years to finish caused some very short tempers and sorely tested our marriage. Again, the lesson I learned the hard way is that living in a mess for an extended period of time can cause a lot of chaos and aggravation within a household.

The message here is that unless you know what you are doing and really enjoy puttering around with home repairs and renovation projects, a professional renovation team can save time, aggravation and costly mistakes. The cost may be higher but the payback can be substantial in the long run. Peace of mind for a job well done, and the time for personal interests may be well worth the price tag. I know what my choice will be for future projects.
Lonya is a staff writer for Wo-Built Inc.

Image: CMHC "Time for a Change?" poster
"Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has the information you need to plan and carry out your dream renovation. From the planning stages to the final touches, and from replacing doors and windows to giving your bathroom or kitchen a facelift, CMHC can help."
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Home Renovation - Do it Yourself or Hire a Pro? Home Renovations
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