Resolve to admit limitations before tacking remodeling
Bill Petitta knows what can happen when homeowners get in over their heads on home improvement projects. He just wishes the New Year’s resolutions of die-hard do-it-yourselfers would include some introspection about what they can and can’t do around the house. “The problems go beyond cosmetic blemishes,??? says Petitta, of the Home Service Store. “Homeowners sometimes overlook safety concerns, structural integrity or how mistakes add to project costs.???
Petitta, whose firm oversees projects at the behest of homeowners, draws a fine line between projects homeowners can tackle vs. jobs best left to pros. He cites high-skill projects such as electrical, heating and air-conditioning projects as requiring professional ability. Missteps on these tasks can put consumers at risk of injury or damage the home.
The piecemeal approach many homeowners take by doling out work to contractors while performing some chares themselves can back fire financially and in terms of results. Quality of work is issue No. 1. “Poor work is very visible and can destroy the appearance of a room quickly, “Petitta says. Such work ultimately affects resale value. “When the time comes to sell the home, and if it appears you did the work on major projects, buyers may penalize you on asking price,??? Petitta says. “The hard part is that the homeowner thinks their work is good enough when they really need to ask themselves ‘Do I have the skills for this project?’ A lot of people won’t admit to their true skill level.???
It can cost big bucks for a contractor to rescue a project. According to Petitta, a contractor might not offer as competitive a bid knowing the homeowner has bungled portions of the job. Repairing structural damage is particularly costly. The result: homeowners might pay more than if they had hired someone in the first place.