The DIY gurus make it look so easy. Home bloggers and HGTV hosts would have us believe that no kitchen project is out of reach for the average homeowner. However, even the most ambitious among us sometimes need to swallow our pride and call a professional.
It is true that you will spend more on pro contractors than you would by tackling a kitchen renovation yourself. However, the higher price tag beats paying a contractor to fix your work in the gory aftermath of a DIY renovation gone wrong. So here are a few projects that are best left to the pros, no matter how tempted you might be to attempt it yourself.
Tile work is deceptively easy, which leads many homeowners to DIY it. However for the average homeowner tiling is a skill that usually takes years to perfect, which might not align with your renovation timeline. Unless you’re a natural-born tile pro you may not be happy with the results. Getting a quality end product takes a lot of patience, planning, and experience. Common issues are uneven tiles, crooked grout lines, and poor layouts resulting in weird cuts in obvious places.
Plumbing and Electrical Upgrades
Unless you’re intimately acquainted with the supply lines and drains under your sink, leave the plumbing to a professional. These are generally shared services between many units. Building almost requires licensed tradesmen to do this type of work in order to ensure the building’s safety and protect the owner from damaging adjacent units.
Depending on where you live, you could need permits for plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling or building. However, many municipalities don’t allow homeowners to pull permits themselves. Check with your municipality before starting a project. When it comes time to sell your home, many buyers will want to know permits were pulled for all work completed.
For homeowners hoping to upgrade an aging kitchen on a budget, the painted cabinet trend is glorious. However, if painting isn’t your forte, save yourself the trouble from the beginning. Poorly painted cabinets look terrible. Sometimes the house can pull off that rustic farmhouse or boho vintage vibe, but in the average newer home, not so much.
Even if you have the strength to physically move hundreds of pounds of stone countertops, the average homeowner doesn’t have the know-how or the machinery required to custom-cut their own kitchen countertops.
Countertops can also be one of the costliest components of a new kitchen, and an expensive mistake with a piece of rare natural stone isn’t worth it. When you’re ready to go out with the old countertops and in with the new, call the pros and let them handle the installation.
Upgrading your countertops can be done directly with a stone or granite retailer, and they have installers on staff who install new counters and remove your old ones.
Appliances are often then unsung and relatively unnoticed heroes of our kitchens until it’s time to replace them, of course. Poorly installed appliances are one of the most common DIY fails in kitchens. Most of the time they didn’t quite fit right and the owner didn’t take time to make the necessary adjustments to get things setting correctly and looking professional.
Sometimes it’s a range hood that doesn’t sit flush with the surrounding cabinets, or a dishwasher that isn’t level. These imperfections can be an eyesore in your new kitchen, so if you’re not confident with installation, purchase your wares through a supplier that offers in-home installation. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your shiny new appliances were installed correctly.