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Home Remodeling: When DIY Just Won't Do

Posted: 15 April 2015

Are you thinking of doing a DIY home remodel? Think it might save you time or money? Think again. When it comes to transforming your home, there’s no substitute for expertise and experience. Here’s why:

Near Enough is Not Good Enough

foot falling through ceilingMost DIYers drastically underestimate the time and materials their remodel is going to require.


Unless you’re a highly experienced retired remodeler, it’s impossible to appreciate the scope of a design project at the outset, and it’s even harder to quantify things accurately.


Professionals will give you a quote that includes everything they’re going to need. If they’ve estimated incorrectly, they may even swallow a few unforeseen costs, so it’s in their interests to get it right.


Experienced professionals can look at a design spec and predict things with impressive levels of accuracy.


For example, can you answer…

  • How long will your remodel take from beginning to end? Professional remodelers try not to let projects drag on and on because it delays their own cash flow and productivity.
  • How much will the project cost, all in all, to the penny, plus specified budget for known contingencies?
  • What quantities will you need (lumber, plywood,  paint, pipes, flooring, nails, glue, grout, varnish, need we go on?)? Professional remodelers will order the correct materials and quantities and get them delivered at the optimal time. DIYers waste hours going back and forth to the hardware store.
  • Which skills will you need? Plumbing, electrical, carpentry, tiling, roofing and more. Do you have sufficient skills to be proficient, safe, and compliant in all these areas?
  • Which permits will you need to apply for, how and when? These can be fiddly to obtain. Experienced remodelers know what hoops to jump through and how to avoid red-tape delays.

On Time, on Budget and to Spec

Expert remodelers tread that tricky triangle between completing projects on budget, on time, to spec, and to a promised quality level.  Ask any homeowner who’s taken on their own remodel, large or small, and they’ll tell you how at least one of these elements got way out of hand.


Even the most diligent and detail-focused DIYers either run out of money or get something wrong and have to put it right – usually at great expense. But almost all of them will tell you how much longer the project took than they expected.


Home remodeling experts, on the other hand, are planners by nature and by profession. They anticipate all the commonly occurring pitfalls, because they’ve seen them a dozen times. They even expect a few more unexpected problems but they are well prepared to deal with them if they do arise.


Professionals pre-empt and solve most problems before they even materialize on site. Our clients never even know about most of the trouble-shooting we do at Clark Construction. Plus, we stand behind our work with strong field service followup and a written limited warranty that you can count on. Would you put such faith in your own handiwork?


Jack-of-all trades, Master of None?

man falling off ladderSo you have a toolshed full of kit, right? Saws, hammers, drills, chisels and so on? Fine, but what about those specialist tools like Fein multi-tools,  sanders, angle grinders, circular saws or wet saws? They may look straightforward enough but they can be hard to handle. And even if you plan to cut a few corners and leave out some of the fanciest details of your remodel design, you’d be compromising on the final result.


The most impressive remodels come from the skilled hands of master tradesmen. Most DIYers don’t have all the diverse skillsets of plumbers, electricians, carpenters, tile installers, masons or even project managers.


Insufficient skills and experience make accidents more likely to happen on a building site. It’s dangerous work, often resulting in serious injury or occasional fatalities. You’ve probably banged your thumb with a hammer a hundred times. But what if you set your ladder on uneven ground and fell? What if you forgot to turn off the gas flow or the electricity supply before going in to work on an appliance? You might put the wrong ceiling supports or weak scaffolding in place. With the risk of explosions, burns, shocks, gas leaks and collapses, is it worth the risk to you and your family?


Remodeling professionals handle power supplies, power tools and structural supports every day; health and safety is a way of life for them. They have the right training, safety gear and know-how to protect themselves and their clients from injury.


You’ll Pay More for Lower Quality Materials

Finally, tradesmen not only have easier access to the latest, highest quality materials but also they pay much less than the average Joe. Homespun remodelers have to buy everything they need at the big DIY chains or smaller stores, which can bring its own hassles. For example, items like tiles, hardwood plank flooring and countertops are packaged in smaller batches and there can be noticeable inconsistency in color, finish or texture. Mismatched materials don’t make for a great look for your new kitchen backsplash or master bath floor.



Despite all the problems we’ve outlined here, for single-trade projects or simple changes to your home, DIY might be a cost-effective way to go. But if you’re looking at complex remodels or large-scale transformations, you definitely won’t save time or money. Enlist the skills, knowledge, experience and equipment of a professional remodeler. You and your home deserve every guarantee of safety, quality, value for money – and a finished result you’re 100% satisfied with for years to come.




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