Renovating in 2018: DIY or Contractor?

Have you seen this?  It’s so true!  Joanna Gaines is the poisoner of minds, including my own.  Ugh! She made me shiplap!

In Monday’s post, I shared some excellent information for the home projects you should tackle in 2018 if you are thinking about selling next year or even in 2019.  But say that you are going to be staying put for a little longer…maybe you just bought your home, and you have a laundry list of home projects to tackle.

HGTV and DIY Network may have visions of shiplap and do-it-yourself renovations dancing in your head, but before you run out and buy a jigsaw, consider these questions:

Question #1: Is it something I can take on time wise?

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Photo from a previous listing of mine. The owner totally overhauled the kitchen. This was a DIY done right!

Take it from the Realtor® who has taken off work to complete a few home projects of my own, do-it-yourself can take more time than originally anticipated.  We have a joke in my household that a Young family project isn’t complete without at least 3 trips to the store and a minimum of 10 curse words.  The average kitchen renovation if done on weeknights and weekends, will take at least a month.  A flooring installation for a 100 square foot room, the minimum of a weekend. A bathroom gut job? A few weekends will be taken up.

Ask yourself, do you have enough time to take on this project? How comfortable do you feel being without a decent kitchen for a month or two?  How about sharing that one bathroom with the rest of your family for more than a weekend?

Question #2: Do I know what I’m doing? 

I’m good at a lot of things…selling houses, negotiating, taking pictures, painting, cleaning, marketing, some light sewing, and maybe a little bit of carpentry.  But ask me to replace a pipe or rewire something and I start to swear sweat.  Blame it on Pinterest, but there are plenty of blogs dedicated to DIY fails.  When it comes to taking on a home project, especially if it is supposed to contribute to your home’s value, it really is important to assess your skill level.  If you feel like a home project is going to be over your head, don’t be afraid to hire a professional to do it for you.


Like…this is cute but it’s all fun and games until this “derpy penguin” is a real-life example of your deck addition.  Yes, that is a penguin I made for the gingerbread contest at my office. I was out of my depth. But it makes for a good laugh.

Question #3: Have I spoken to my local officials about permits?

Licensed contractors are very much like Realtors®, specialists in their field who have to take continuing education on the latest laws for building regulations and they know exactly to the form what paperwork needs to be submitted for your home project.  Sure, you could do it yourself, and that’s where you need to make sure that you are prepared to cut through all of the red tape that stands between you and your goal.  Not a big fan of driving back and forth to the permits office? It may be a better idea to hire the professional to do it for you, then, and save yourself the hassle AND protect your investment when you go to sell.  That’s the most important thing.


There are, of course, more questions to be asking yourself when deciding to take on any home project on your own.  These are just the three core questions.

What other questions would you be asking yourself when it comes to choosing DIY or a Contractor?


Morgan Overcashrealtors_2c

Allen Tate Company


My Website


You have questions? I have answers! Leave your comments below and I am thrilled to write back!

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