It’s the question every home renovation enthusiast eventually asks themselves – “how much can I actually do myself?” You’ve closely studied the DIY blog posts from your favourite renovation website, watched a few episodes of Property Brothers and bought yourself a brand-new toolkit. You’re ready for your next reno – or so you think. Before you start hammering away at your newest passion project, it’s probably a good idea to get a sense of the renovations you can do yourself and those you should call a pro to handle. Here’s our list of renos for the pros versus those you can tackle as an ordinary Joe.
Renovations for DIYers
When it comes to home renovations, this is where DIYers have the most flexibility. Changing cosmetic aspects of your home like the colour of the walls or the interior décor can be done with relatively little experience. Plus, you don’t need permits or approvals to work on your home’s interior. You can replace old fixtures with modern ones, repaint your doors, rearrange your furniture or even go for a whole new look. Just be sure that the changes you make increase the value and functionality of your space.
2. Light Demolition
While you shouldn’t take a sledgehammer to any wall without consulting a professional first, light demolition is certainly something you can tackle on your own. This means taking down things like old shelving and cabinets, appliances, molding or even removing unwanted tile work and carpeting. Whatever you do, steer clear of structural work. As a renovation newbie, it’s hard to know which walls are load bearing, and a sledgehammer to the wrong wall could cause a renovation disaster.
Another great DIYer – landscaping! A well-kept lawn can work wonders for your home. It makes your space seem more inviting and appealing to neighbours and buyers alike. The best part about this renovation is how easy it is. Preparing garden beds, mowing the lawn and trimming your hedges are all things you can do by yourself in a short period of time.
4. Simple Tiling
Last but certainly not least – tiling. While you may want to leave complex projects like herringbone or basket weave tile to the pros, so it looks upscale and well done, simpler projects that use a straight or diagonal pattern are a go for DIYers. Just make sure you brush up on your tile laying skills with a reliable, easy-to-follow guide – here’s one of our favourites.
Renovations for Professionals
1. Major Structural Changes
These days, everyone wants an open-plan home. But that doesn’t mean you go demolition crazy and knock down every wall in sight. Some walls are load bearing and play an important role for the structural integrity of your home. Simply put, they’re the reason your house is still standing. So, if you want to make any major structural change to your space, its best to call a contractor. They’ll have a better understanding of the structural makeup of your home and have an easier time dealing with the different permits, code requirements and approvals necessary to get the job done.
2. Electrical and Plumbing
This is another important renovation you don’t want to tackle by yourself – no matter how many DIY guides you read. Your plumbing and electricity are essential utilities for the proper functioning of your home, so you want to make sure everything concerning these utilities is handled correctly. Another important reason why you should leave your plumbing and electricity work to the pros is the permits required. Depending on where you live, you may need authorization before diving into these renovations. For example, in Ontario, a plumbing permit is required before installing, plumbing, or replacing an existing plumbing system. Plus, all plumbing installations are subject to the regulations under the Ontario Building Code.
3. Asbestos or Mold Removal
As a general rule of thumb, any renovation that involves a potentially hazardous situation should be crossed off your DIY list. Issues such as mold and asbestos should never be repaired or tested by anyone who is inexperienced. Instead, these renovations should be tackled by professionals with access to proper safety attire as exposure to mold and asbestos could damage your health.
4. Painting Exteriors
Painting your home’s exterior is much more complicated than painting the walls in your living room. It requires more paint, more prep and a more polished technique so your home doesn’t end up looking like a hot mess. Not to mention, your home is much bigger than just your living room. So, chances are there’s some spots that are tough to reach in a safe manner. This is why painting your homes exterior is another renovation best done by professionals.
Thinking of starting your next big remodel? Schedule a conversation with us today!