DIY vs Contractor Work for Key Home Renovation Projects


Whether you’re considering minor or even some of the more major home renovation projects, DIY is probably something that has crossed your mind. Doing it yourself can work out in many scenarios, saving you money and allowing you to develop key skills in home improvement and maintenance.

Of course, DIY isn’t the right fit for every project. A job that seems simple might soon turn into a minor disaster, requiring remedial work that ends up costing you more.

Before you dive headfirst into a DIY home renovation, make sure you learn about some common home improvement projects and when you should call in a professional contractor or handyman.

Cabinet Replacement for Minor Kitchen Remodeling

Worn out cabinets are one of the first signs that you need kitchen remodeling in Des Moines. Cabinets are immediately noticeable when you walk into your kitchen, and if yours don’t look their best anymore, you’ll lose the pride you once had for your home’s most important feature.

DIY cabinet refacing has become more common in recent years, due to the availability of direct replacement kits intended for homeowners. While this might seem like the perfect DIY project, there are some things to consider.

  • Cabinet refacing isn’t considered a full replacement. Most kits come with only a veneer surface and stain.

  • Refacing usually requires the application of a polyurethane finish to protect against damage. It can be difficult to get an even coating when using aerosol products.

  • Most kits don’t come with replacement hinges or drawer runners, so they’re not fully suited to cabinets that are sagging or ready to fall.

  • The quality of DIY kits can range from sub-par to high-end. If you’re inexperienced, it will be hard to tell exactly what your cabinets will look like upon completion.

Taking all of this into account, it’s hard to recommend DIY refacing and refinishing. Kitchen remodeling is one of the most valuable home improvement projects you can perform. Get it right, and you’ll add lasting value. In most cases you will regain the majority of your investment at resale.

Refacing cabinets can take two complete days without setbacks, so you’ll need to consider whether you even have the time. There’s also the risk of misapplying a veneer and damaging your cabinets beyond repair.

Professional kitchen remodeling and renovation comes with a cost, but considering the advantages in fit and finish, it’s a cost that ultimately works out better throughout the lifetime of your home.

Siding Repairs or Complete Replacement

A minor siding repair or partial replacement could seem like a realistic DIY home renovation project, but there are hidden factors that home improvement shows and magazines won’t tell you. Before you go out and buy materials and tools, consider the setbacks and risks that you could face.

  • Some siding replacement jobs can be dangerous. You could be working on a ladder while trying to balance heavy materials and dangerous tools. There’s also a risk of mold or insect exposure, depending on the condition of your home. Professional home remodeling contractors have extensive experience and training to deal with the risks.

  • A contractor will significantly cut down the time it takes to replace siding. If you follow a simple DIY guide, you run the risk of getting stuck when something doesn’t go exactly according to instruction. If you remove your siding and can’t replace it right away, your home will be exposed to the elements, with the risk of structural damage becoming very real.

  • Siding materials are readily available at major home improvement and hardware stores. However, you’ll pay retail markup on everything from nails to the siding itself. Des Moines contractors have access to wholesalers, so you could spend less on materials by choosing a professional installation.

  • Even if you end up replacing siding on your own, will you have complete confidence in the finished work? Professionals know how to ensure that your home is weatherproof, and they can identify any underlying problems that need to be addressed during replacement.

It’s possible that you could replace a small section of siding when following a detailed tutorial, but this is a job with many variables. A tutorial won’t prepare you for every scenario, which is why it always makes more sense to choose professional home renovation contractors in Des Moines.

Kitchen Backsplash Upgrade

Here’s a very popular kitchen improvement, and one where we feel that a DIY job is feasible for the average homeowner.

A tiled backsplash is simple to install and can be completed in a single day. You will have to go slowly and with extreme care to achieve a uniform fit and finish. If you take your time, the result could be very similar to a professional installation.

The only risk here is that if you don’t mount and seal your tiles correctly, water entry could damage the interior wall and cause mold or other structural problems in the future.

If you’re confident and have done some DIY tiling before, then this is a project that you could complete within a single day or weekend. If you don’t have the time or aren’t quite sure that your skills are up to par, a Des Moines handyman could install a kitchen backsplash with minimal labor and material costs.

Tile Replacement for Minor Bathroom Remodeling

Bathroom remodeling is another area that is often touted as being ideal for DIY. Just like a kitchen backsplash, laying down bathroom tiles is feasible for many homeowners. However, the same challenges exist.

Special care is required to avoid damaging the subfloor. You need to be confident in your grouting and sealing skills to ensure the floor is completely shielded from water entry. Any small mistake or imperfection could end up costing you thousands in repair bills down the line.

If you don’t have experience in DIY flooring, then the bathroom isn’t a place to hone your craft. The risk of getting it wrong is high, and damage caused by water entry could be significant by the time it is discovered.

Minor bathroom remodeling with a professional contractor is relatively affordable, and it could add to the market value of your home. Work with the right remodeling team and you could enjoy a beautiful bathroom for years to come, with no major maintenance needed between now and your next refresh.

Booking Handyman and General Contractor Services in Des Moines

At the end of the day, choosing whether to go ahead with DIY or a contractor service is about more than just the skills you possess. Time is a major factor. You may also need to buy or hire tools, even for minor home renovation projects. All of this can add up, making a handyman callout or full contractor service much more attractive.

If you need home improvements but aren’t inclined to go the route of DIY, HomeWorx Iowa can help. We offer competitive rates on home renovation and remodeling projects, and you’ll have confidence knowing the work will be completed safely and to the highest possible standards.

DIY isn’t for everyone, and that’s OK. Talk to HomeWorx for better renovations, no matter what project you have in mind.

Is Winter the Perfect Time for Home Remodeling?

Winter probably isn’t the first season that comes to mind when you think about remodeling. Typically, homeowners prefer to remodel during the spring, summer, and throughout the early weeks of autumn.

This is surprising, especially for contractors in Des Moines, because professionals know that winter is actually one of the best times of year to remodel.

Contractors don’t simply stop work in the off-season. While some exterior projects aren’t suited to the cold, wet, and snowy weather, there’s still a lot that you can get done inside the home from December to March.

Here are the reasons why you should consider scheduling your home remodeling for this winter.

You’ll Enjoy Better Contractor Availability

If you’ve ever booked home renovation during the spring or summer, you probably would have noticed that contractors have long lead times due to high demand. This can be an inconvenience, as you will have to plan your project around the contractor’s schedule, rather than getting work started at a time that is most convenient for you.

Even the very best contractors can struggle to meet the needs of all their potential clients during the busier months of the year.

If you schedule kitchen remodeling and other projects for the autumn or winter, you won’t run into any problems with contractor availability. You will have more freedom to choose work schedules, making the whole project more convenient and less stressful.

You Can Avoid the Spring Price Rush

Demand for home improvement increases significantly during the spring, and this high demand lasts all throughout the summer. High demand can lead to increased prices for materials, subcontractor services, and large appliances and fixtures.

If you want affordable kitchen remodeling, a new bathroom, or even basement finishing, it will often be more economical to have the work completed over the winter.

Hardware and Materials Will be More Abundant

In addition to materials being more affordable, they will also be more abundant over the winter months. During the summer, you could spot the perfect piece of hardware in a home improvement store, only to find that the piece is sold out when you go back to stock up on remodeling supplies.

Everything from drawer pulls to bathroom hardware can sell out quickly during the peak season.

This could force you to compromise on your vision, or, you could be left waiting for new stock to come in. This isn’t a fun experience, and it will leave your whole project in limbo.

Instead, book your remodel for the winter, and you’ll enjoy better availability of materials and hardware.

What are the Best Winter Home Remodeling Projects?

Essentially, any project inside your home will be ideal for winter remodeling in Des Moines.

Some projects to consider include:

  • Bathroom.
  • Kitchen.
  • Bedroom or living area remodeling or renovation.
  • Attic, basement, or garage finishing.
  • General improvements around the home with a Des Moines handyman, such as new light fixtures, replacement flooring, fresh paint etc.

Plan a Stress-Free Winter Remodel with the Best Contractors in Des Moines

Winter is the perfect time for interior remodeling projects, and you can even start some of the larger projects after the Christmas rush, minimizing any disturbance in your home.

You can get help planning your autumn or winter remodeling project today. From smaller handyman improvements, to kitchen remodeling and more, the experts at HomeWorx Iowa are standing by.

With extensive experience in all forms of home improvement, we can develop your vision to give you a home you will love in 2020 and beyond.