Experts Caution Homeowners On Diy Projects

Basic plumbing repairs are usually safe for homeowners to do on their own

Improving weather and the fact that May is National Home Remodeling Month may spur many homeowners to start a home improvement project this month.

A wealth of information available on the Internet as well as television outlets such as HGTV and the DIY Network may inspire some to take on various projects on their own - without enlisting the help of a professional.

While some jobs are perfectly acceptable for handy homeowners to tackle without professional help, experts say there are some things considerations that need to be made first.

"Remodeling can be complex and often times full of surprises, even for experts like our members," said National Association of Home Builders chairman Bill Shaw. "DIY projects should be rewarding and fun, but if your DIY can't be completed in the planned price range or your safety is at risk, leave the work in the hands of professional remodelers."

How common are do-it-yourself projects?
According to recent data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau, DIY projects accounted for 37 percent of all home remodeling projects performed nationwide from 2010 to 2011.

DIY home improvement projects tend to be smaller, require less technical training and expertise and cost less, with 50 percent of home owners spending less than $950 on these projects, according to NAHB. This is in comparison to the median spending on professional remodeling projects, which is close to $4,000.

Many popular home renovations are not commonly done by non-professional homeowners. In fact, NAHB reports that more than 80 percent of kitchen additions are done professionally. Experts say many of the jobs associated with a kitchen remodel, including rerouting plumbing, installing radiant heat and hanging cabinetry are most successfully completed by individuals who specialize in these types of jobs.

What to consider?
NAHB recommends homeowners take several things into consideration when determining whether or not to hire a professional.

First, there are often hidden costs associated with DIY projects. For instance, a product warranty may be voided if it is not installed by a professional. This could mean the homeowner may have to ultimately hire someone to fix his or her mistakes or replace the product.

There are also safety considerations to be taken into account with may home improvement projects. Whether it's the structural integrity of the house or your physical well-being, anything that could result in bodily harm to you or someone else should be left to a professional.

The total time needed to complete a project is important as well. After all, a job that will take you several months to complete may be better off left to someone who can finish it more quickly.

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