When DIY Home Repairs can Start to Get Costly

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Posted on 07/29/2009

It’s no secret—going D-I-Y can save you B-I-G. But there comes a point when DIY home repairs can start to get costly. Usually that’s when the repairs to fix your repairs cost more than the original repairs would have in the first place. Here are some examples of when DIY may actually end up costing you more than calling a pro right away.

You Don’t Have Proper Permits - When you’re not an electrician or contractor or fence builder by trade, you may not even realize that you need a permit for the project you are about to embark on. If you insist on doing it yourself, do a little research yourself, too. Find out what permits, if any, are needed. The last thing you want to do is be forced to start over because you forgot to take this important step in the beginning.

You’re Using Cheap Materials - You’re already trying to cut costs on labor, so you may be tempted to cut costs on materials, too. But sometimes cheaper materials end up costing you more in the long run. Cheap flooring may wear out quicker. Cheap insulation may not be as energy efficient. Cheap shingles may not weather a big storm. You get the idea.

Safety Doesn’t Come First - Safety should come first, especially if you’re a novice at home improvement. If there’s a slim chance shards of anything will be flying, put on goggles. If the box warns you to wear a mask, do it. Your home improvement budget will be gone in minutes if you have to take a trip to the ER.

You’re Starting With a New Addition - You’ve never hammered a nail, let alone put up a structure, but how hard can installing an addition be? I mean, the crew on Extreme Home Makeover built an entire house in a few days. That kind of cockiness can get you in trouble. Start with small projects and work your way up.

Hidden Mysteries Pop Up - Everyone who’s worked on a home knows that sometimes fixing one problem can uncover another. You may have been prepared to complete the first project, but be ready to call in an expert if you uncover something else that you know nothing about.

You Don’t Know When to Call the Pros - There’s comes a point in some projects where you realize you’re in over your head. If you’ve never come to that realization you may be in for a time consuming and expensive wake up call. Be prepared to call in a professional when your DIY project becomes overwhelming or you could be looking at a costly fix.

By Alison Storm

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