Dear readers, thanks for dropping by. Kindly note that I have migrated all these posts to my new blog All Things Cozy and Homely . I will blog at the new site from Jan 15 onwards.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Should you DIY your Renovation?

 Image from Decorate101 
hi! i would like to seek your advice. i am actually thinking of doing without a ID/contractor. reason being i think we can diy our renovation. we are not intended to do any fancy fixtures or false ceilings. so mainly it is a paint job and buying of furnishings and furnitures. the only constructions that need to be done would be a window ledge and tv console. what are your views?

A reader left the above comment in one of my blog post recently. As he/she did not leave behind any contact, I decided to respond to this inquiry in my blog.

I believe that completing a renovation project without an ID or contractor does have certain risks. After all, specific skill sets, experience and expertise are involved.

Hence, I only recommend this approach if the extent of renovation is very very minimal and that you have the time and patience to research the works that need to be done.

For instance, let us take a look at painting.
There are many different types of paint available in the market to cater to different budget and needs. Furthermore, with enough research, you will realize that the existing walls have to be prepared properly before the new paint is applied.

Trust me -  it is a literally back-breaking although fun experience - I have been through and done that with my family. :) 

In fact, do keep in mind that a lot of research on what is involved and what is the proper process of completing the works has to be done.

That involves cleaning of the walls, stripping of the old paint, patching up dents, and applying of primer and so on. However, that is not half the work done. Masking of the window, door ledges etc needs to be done before the new paint can be applied. Proper canvas have to be used to cover the floors etc. There are several painting techniques involved too.

Next, let us take a step back and relook at why do you want to DIY. Is it due to the budget concerns? Or do you believe that you will do a better job than the professionals?

Real case in point.

A close friend of mine decided to DIY her 5 room flat with her partner. The desire to cut costs was the main impetus for her decision.
The outcome was less than ideal. Although she initially saved a few hundred or thousand dollars, the renovation took much longer than expected. As she has already committed and purchased all the equipment and raw materials needed, she couldn't bail out when things started to go wrong.To quote a few example:

The paint job was uneven (despite her best efforts); her partner couldn't drill and secure the curtain rails properly since he is totally inexperienced.
To make things worse, the walls moulded after a few months because the primer and paint did not dry properly. Furthermore, her partner sprained his back and had to see the specialist.

In the end, they ended up spending more to undo the damage they have caused.

Remember, most renovation works done by the renovation professionals do come with some form of warranty.

Hence, sometimes it might be more advisable to let the professionals do the work. :)

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