A lot of things can go wrong in a home over the years. Weather damage, accidents, and the simple aging of materials and appliances can all cause problems.
But one thing I really hate to see is when a do-it-yourself project goes awry.
It always starts off simple enough: You want new flooring. You want a deck. You want to install your own water heater.
After all, you save money when you do it yourself. And there are plenty of instruction videos on YouTube to help guide you through. How hard could it be?
Unfortunately, home improvement projects, even the seemingly simple ones, can have long-lasting effects on the value, viability, and even safety of your home.
And if it turns out you want to sell your property in the next year or the next 10 years, any DIY mistake is going to complicate that sale. Even if you’re fine enough with the job you did, the future homeowners might not be.
Worse still, if you didn’t properly seal that pipe you fixed, you could cause serious damage. And if the deck you built doesn’t abide by safety regulations, that’s going to show up in an inspection, too.
Whatever the job, a professional craftsperson doesn’t just bring expertise. They bring accountability. Under the terms of their professional certifications, as well as the terms of the contract you make with them, professional tradespeople must deliver.
You should also be reassured by the experience a professional brings to the job. Ideally, people who do this work across multiple projects, many times a year, will be faster, more efficient, safer and ultimately better than a layperson.
What I See
As a home inspector, I often see botched DIY jobs. It’s especially sad when people who love their home have done unintentional damage.
Sometimes it’s easy to think that no one will know but you. But most homes will be around for decades. And the repairs and renovations will be there, too.
When you’re pondering changes you want to make to your property, consider the long-term ramifications. I’m not saying DIY is always a bad thing. What I will say is that if it does go badly, it will be easily noticeable in a future home inspection.