A Few Things The DIY Must Know

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A Few Things The DIY Must Know

There is no question about it, Utah is a state of Do It Yourselfers.  Perhaps it’s our pioneer roots, or just the fact that we’re cheap, whatever the reason, we love to tackle those tough home improvement projects ourselves.  There is something to be said for the rugged “I’ll fix that” attitude and we celebrate that ideal as well.  However, before you take sledgehammer in hand to demolish that living room wall, might we propose a few things you should consider first?

We understand, there is something primal in nature about burying that 20 pound sledge deep into a helpless, quivering slab of drywall; seeing the dust plume rise as the shattered pieces fall in a heap at your feet.  We are right there with you as you thrust back your head and utter a manly, “Oh, Oh, Oh” at your triumphal blow.  After all, it is what separates us from the beasts of the field, the ability to destroy at will.  However, having enjoyed over eleven years in the construction trade, there are a few things we have learned that may possibly save you a ton of headaches.  So, calmly step away from the sledge, take a deep breath, and let’s talk for a moment.

A Man’s Gotta Know His Limitations!

We have definitely changed as a people over the years.  Interestingly, while over 37% of all home improvement projects over a specific period between 2010 and 2011 were done by the “Do-It-Yourself” homeowners, these projects accounted for only 18% of the total home improvement expenses calculated over that period of time.  This is a telling statistic.  What it means is that, while we love our DIY projects, when it comes to major home renovations, DIY homeowners tend to call in professional help.

(Source National Association of Home Builders, “Eye On Housing”, May, 2013)

Armed with this knowledge, it’s time to talk tradesmen.  First, What kind of a personality do you have?  Let’s take a little quiz to find out.  Don’t worry, you won’t be graded on it.  However, the result may shed some light on your overall attitude toward home improvement.

What Is Your DIY Personality?

Take this short quiz to determine if you are a real Do It Yourselfer, or merely someone who wants to save a buck.  

A Few Things Every DIY Should Know

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

5 things every diy should knowMany a DIY remodeler falls into this mistake.  It’s easy to do. Picture this, your spouse wants a small wall removed to open up the kitchen area a bit more.  As they pick up the phone to hire a contractor you step forward and say, “Put that phone down.  I can get rid of that wall and save us a bundle of cash.”  Skeptically, they lower the phone as you layout your remodeling plan.  After a lengthy session of explanation and pleading, you finally get the go ahead and off you go to the nearest Home Depot, Lowes, or Walmart to gather your tools and supplies.

Let’s be honest, we all love a good smash fest.  So there you are, sledge hammer in hand, ready to demolish that wall.  Since you have a full time job, your remodel project has to take place after work hours, and so you begin as the sun is setting.  You let the hammer fly and POW, there goes a huge chunk of drywall.  BAM, you continue until most of the drywall is in dust at your feet.  All that remains is the last foot or two of wall.  You give the thumbs up to your spouse as you reposition your safety goggles and prepare for the final blow that will reveal the bar stud wall; it’s going faster than you thought.  With one well placed strike, your sledge strikes the last part of the wall.  Unfortunately, and to your terror, you hear a loud pop followed by a shower of sparks and the house suddenly goes dark.

From upstairs you hear, “What did you do?” in a panicked and exasperated voice.  Well, after you make the call to the electrician, you find that the pop and sparks you experienced was actually a wire junction box hidden behind the drywall.  Pretty standard stuff, except your powerful blow crushed it and fused several wires together sending a lethal surge of electricity to the circuit box, frying several components.  Now instead of a simple wall removal, you are looking at a major electrical repair bill and you still need to finish the original project.

Fast forward six months, and the bare studs still stand as a stark reminder that you have too little time and too much work to do to finish your project.  Finally you relent and call in a qualified contractor to complete the project.  Ultimately, the $1,000 project may end up costing you much more.  Had you simply known your limitations and called a qualified contractor your project would be done, your marriage would still be viable, and you would be a happy camper.  Lesson learned.

A Hammer & Spackle Doesn’t Fix Everything

If you are a seasoned DIY person, you most likely have a garage packed with every tool known to man and we salute you!  If not, you are probably like most first time DIY folk and are looking at a complete tool chest consisting of a hammer, some wire, a screwdriver and some old liquid nails.  Let us just say, that won’t cut it.  The key to doing a professional looking job is to have the correct tools for the job.  Don’t get me wrong, I love nothing more than an excuse to puruse the aisles of Home Depot looking for a new tool, it’s what I do.  But if you don’t have a couple thousand set aside for tools, such a trip might be the straw that breaks your DIY Project’s back.  It might be best to spare the expense and call on the services of a professional who already has the tools to do the job right.  Tackling a complicated remodel project with the wrong tools will end up in skyrocketing costs, a bad headache, and possibly being homeless (Due to being kicked out of the house.)

Finally, if you are the least bit apprehensive about tackling that project, why not let a professional take it on.  Sierra Home Services can provide you with a very competitive bid and will make your project amazing.  We are always happy to answer your questions so why not give us a call today.  The number is: (801) 733-9401

Robert Jacob

Robert Jacob - Author, RLJ Online Marketing, LLC I have been researching and writing blogs for quite a while now and I have come to realize that great content takes effort. I hope you enjoy the work here. ~Robert Jacob

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