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Essential Remodeling & Building Tasks: When NOT to DIY!

Example of framing a house.

As the founder of Home Renovation School, where I teach people how to design, build, renovate, and manage their dream home projects, there are definitely some crucial steps during the building process that require an expert and should not be on your DIY list. Let’s discuss why it’s so critical you hire a pro if you are not one yourself.

The foundation is the groundwork for your home, and it’s critical that your plans are engineered properly by a licensed structural and civil engineer. There is no room for error here. I do not recommend trying to DIY this; you can easily end up with a disaster on your hands.

Next is the framing, which is critical because it’s the framework for the walls and doorways of your home. It’s important that it’s followed accurately according to your plans and that it’s level and perfectly square. If the framing for your walls and doors is not level and they’re out of square, they will stay that way when you add your sheet rock. This is not a good look and you will definitely have issues when it comes to installing your interior and exterior doors and windows.

Example of Sheetrock, Doors and Window Installation
Example of Sheetrock, Doors and Window Installation

There are a few trades that I would never cut corners on either, requiring a licensed subcontractor for safety and to avoid major problems down the road. These are HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical. In Home Renovation School, I teach my students the basic knowledge they need to understand what each trade is doing, so they can communicate with their subcontractors and speak their language, which is important.

I recommend, when building or renovating your own home and DIY-ing it yourself, that you take a very active role in asking questions, being present at all city inspections, watching, and listening. It’s a great opportunity to expand your knowledge, and your presence on your project also sets the stage for your subcontractors, letting them know subtly that you are watching them and expect top-quality work.

Your doors, windows, and roof installation are also other super important scopes of work that require expert knowledge. While these are easier to learn how to DIY yourself, I still recommend that you hire an expert to work alongside you if it’s your first time installing these. If your windows, door, and roof are not installed properly things can go downhill quickly leading to water intrusion and mold, so it’s critical that these are installed properly and watertight.

Check back with us next week as we share more insider tips to help you on your design and build projects and be sure to check out one of my favorite new tile mart collections “Ghent”. This 3″x9″ tile is available in 4 of the hottest 2024 tile trend colors in a matte finish and I can’t wait to use it on my next project!

Julee Ireland, NKBA-Interior Design Architect, Tile Mart Brand Ambassador and Founder Home Renovation School

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