A shortage of tradespeople and rising building costs might mean you are considering tackling a home improvement project yourself. But before you grab your overalls for your DIY home renovation project, here are five things to consider to ensure your making the right decision.
You won’t qualify for grants.
There are several grants available for improving your home’s energy efficiency. Insulating your attic or other areas of your home qualifies for a grant, for example. These works might be tempting to take on yourself. But to qualify for energy grants, the work needs to be done by a tradesperson approved by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). So if you do the work yourself, you won’t be able eligible. You can find information about the available grants and how to apply on their website.
Understand your limitations
Some projects like painting, laying floors or even tiling are straightforward and can be accomplished with a little help from YouTube. Other tasks, however, are better left to the professionals.
Anything structural like removing walls or widening windows or door openings should never be done without consulting a structural engineer.
The same goes for anything that needs certification, like installing a boiler or electrical works. Doing these things without the right advice and expertise is ill-advised and potentially dangerous. Even using someone on an hourly basis will enable you to avoid costly mistakes, resulting in long-term savings.
Have you thought of everything?
Never start a DIY home renovation project without a well-thought-out plan. A home improvement or update will highlight other areas needing work, so planning is essential.
Planning ahead will prevent you from starting a snowball effect of work needing to be done. Tackling projects in a piecemeal fashion often leads to your home feeling disjointed. You’ll waste money and won’t be adding value to your home. After all your hard work, you might find you’re worse off than before you started.
Don’t cut corners to save money.
For energy upgrades, always seek out a registered tradesperson. Not only will you be able to apply for any energy grants available, but you’ll also have the peace of mind that the work will be carried out correctly and to a very high standard.
There is a myth that the approved contractors and tradespeople charge more than others to do the work. This is not the case. For the works to be approved by SEAI, they must stand up to rigorous inspection. If there is a discrepancy in price between a registered and a non-registered tradesperson, you’ll find that the scope varies a lot.
Always ensure that you are comparing like with like when examining quotes. If you are unsure about what the quote covers, ask what is included in the price.
Work out how long the work will take.
Do you have the time to complete the project in its entirety, or should you consider getting some help to speed things up? Projects always take longer than you think, so it’s a good idea to build in a little buffer when working out your programme. The last thing you want is to run out of time and be left trying to finish off the job during weekends and other gaps in your free time.
Don’t be caught out by long lead times. Speak with suppliers about stock availability and order what you need as early as possible. Ideally, you should have everything you need before you start the work. Delays are the norm at the moment, so you’re better off waiting for something before you tear or house apart than being left mid-job waiting for the things that you need.
Put a value on your time.
In cases where you have limited funds or are taking on a small project, doing the work yourself makes a lot of sense. But when it comes to larger jobs, be wary of apparent cost savings. What is the cost of you taking a week or more off work to do the work? Calculate the value of your time and compare it to the cost of hiring a tradesperson. Depending on the project involved, you might be surprised at what you discover.
Share This Post
Do you know someone who is planning a DIY home renovation project? Why not share the link to this post with a friend who you think might enjoy our content? Or share the post on your favourite social channel with the hashtag #optimisehome. We count on you to spread the word about the blog, so thank you for helping us get the blog in front of new readers.
? Why not share the link to this post with a friend who you think might enjoy our content? Or share the post on your favourite social channel with the hashtag #optimisehome. We count on you to spread the word about the blog, so thank you for helping us get the blog in front of new readers.