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A friend of mine recently completed a home remodeling project, rewiring all of her electrical outlets completely on her own—without help from professionals. After she completed her solo DIY project, I asked her how it went. “Oh, I’m so proud,” she enthusiastically replied. “I actually managed to fix all but one of the electrical outlets on my house! I only shocked myself a couple times. What’s even better is that I actually lived to tell about it!” She was only half joking with that last part.
Experts estimate that over 50,000 electrical fires occur in the home annually, resulting in more than 1,400 injuries and close to 500 deaths. Let’s not forget the total amount of residential property damage sustained by the fires—over $1 billion, to be exact. When you look at these statistics, you can consider my friend lucky.
If you’ve been planning a DIY home renovation, you’ll want to proactively consider a few things before you get started on your new project:
Assess your skill level
Before embarking upon any new project, you’ll want to consider: Have you done this before? Do you have the required skills and knowledge? To keep yourself from getting burnt out with home renovations, experts also recommend that you try to stick to just one upgrade per month at the maximum.
What’s the purpose of the DIY project?
Are you trying to increase your home’s value? Are you trying to save money? Or are you simply taking on a new hobby because you enjoy the work? It’s helpful to start with getting clear on your goals before starting a new project—especially if you are going to be doing all of the work yourself.
What to expect from your DIY projects
If you are looking to increase the value of your home (and, hopefully, save money doing it), there are some projects that might be better suited than others. Upgrading electrical outlets, as in my friend’s case, is one great example. Some other projects to consider might include updating the guest bathroom over a long weekend, installing a fence around a backyard pool, or landscaping the front yard.
When to call a professional
“Do It Yourself” doesn’t mean you have to do it all by yourself. There will be some times along the way that you’ll want to reach out to professionals. For instance, my friend did have a professional electrician inspect her home for safety hazards prior to starting her project, and she still plans to hire a contractor to repair the remaining outlet she was unable to fix. Regardless of your type of project, you may also want to consider hiring help to move items to and from storage.
There you have it. With some proactive planning, and the willingness to call professionals for help if you need it, your DIY dreams are indeed quite possible and, most importantly, safe to achieve. By following the above tips, you can create a home where you don’t just live—you thrive.