Do It Yourself

Remodeling your home is one of the most stressful times you will have. We are not comparing this to getting married, having kids or things like that. We are all family people and know about that stress. Remodeling is a major disruption in your home and home is normally where you go to get away from stress. Here are just a few comparisons of “Do it Yourself” vs. “Hiring a Professional”.

Budget

Do it Yourself
You have a set amount of money that you want to spend. You saw cabinets and some great appliances that everyone likes. All this is in your budget and you think you’re ready to go.

Professional
The first question the designer will ask is, “what is your budget?”. The designer needs to know this early on because he/she already knows about all the little things that are needed for a standard remodeling project that are often overlooked by the homeowner and can really blow the budget if forgotten until near the end of the project.

Design

Do it Yourself
Measure your kitchen and start doing a layout. You know what you need for your kitchen, you just need to put it on paper and arrange it in a way that will flow for you. You can also go to your local box store and sit down with one of their people to lay it out. A box store is great and you will get exactly what you ask for. The only problem with a box store is you get exactly what you ask for and nothing more – no creativity, very few options, just the layout.

Professional
The designer will come to your home and measure your space. They will ask a lot of questions like “How much do you cook?”, “Do you entertain a lot in your home?”, “Do you have children and how old are they?”. Those and many other variables will be discussed, so that the designer knows exactly what you need to create the perfect kitchen for you and your family.

Ordering

Do it Yourself
Once you’ve done your layout and have everything in place where you want it, it’s time to order. Double check that your plans match what is on the order. Pay close attention to color and door style. Don’t forget the moldings including baseboard, crown molding, light rail and scribes. Forgetting one piece could set you back in your schedule. This is also a good time to check shipping time for cabinets. You don’t want to start the rip out of your current kitchen too early and have no working kitchen for an extended period of time. On the other hand, you don’t want cabinets stored in your garage possibly risking damage to them.

Professional
The designer will review the drawing with you to make sure you are getting everything that was discussed in the design stage. When ordering, the designer is responsible for making sure that all the parts are there, all moldings are accounted for and the proper amount is being ordered. They are double checked by their manager because a second set of eyes will catch any mistakes (if something is forgotten, the designer has clout with the supplier so they can normally get missed items for the job quickly).

Installing

Do it Yourself
When starting your install, first double check that you have everything you ordered. There’s nothing like starting a job and realizing that something is missing. Make sure you do some research on how to install cabinets. I know it looks easy on the TV shows, but there’s a little more to it than that. There are a lot of books or you can even go on YouTube to watch videos. Make sure that you have the right tools for the job. You don’t need high end professional tools, good homeowner quality will do.

Professional
The kitchen designer will have in-house installers or use a pre-screened contract installer to do the work. They will come to your house and check all of the cabinets and install them per the plans. They will be responsible for cleaning up after themselves and acting in a professional manner while in your home. They will be there to answer any questions or concerns you might have during the installation process. If something isn’t done to the design specifications, they are responsible for correcting it.

Sub-Contractors

Plumbing and electrical trade people will be needed to complete the job.

Do it Yourself
If you know how to do this work correctly, that is great. If you have to hire them, make sure you find reputable people. They will be licensed and insured for the work they are doing. You can ask for copies of these and it’s not a bad idea to check them out with the Better Business Bureau. If they don’t give you this information or they’re not in the BBB, you probably want to look for someone else.

Professional
Subcontractors will be pre-screened and their references will have been checked. Their insurance policies will be on file and their reputation will be known. A good professional will have more than one electrician and plumber on file. It always makes a job run more smoothly if there’s more than one person to rely on. You don’t want to have a subcontractor get tied up on another job and leave you until last.

Countertops

Do it Yourself
Make sure to investigate different countertop places. There are lots of different types of tops to choose from like granite, engineered stone, solid surface, laminate and even glass. All the countertop choices out there are great for different reasons. Be sure and ask lots of questions. Make sure the countertop you like, is the one best suited for your needs.

Professional
They will ask you a lot of questions about things like cooking habits, entertaining, kids and more to make sure you are getting a countertop you won’t regret next year. They will have many samples in their showroom to show you and tell you the pros and cons of each. They will have more than one countertop shop that they work with and you would be able to visit any or all of them.

Finish

Do it Yourself
Try your best to make sure that at the end there’s not a long list of things to finish. If you have planned carefully, this should be a short list. If you forgot one or two little things, that’s okay it happens. If you forgot some big things, this is going to be a problem and you could be in your home longer than expected without a working kitchen.

Professional
One of the biggest advantages of having a professional is that issues that come up during the installation often are taken care of at that time, lessening the time you and your family are without a working kitchen. After the work is done, there is a final walk through with the designer. The homeowner will have time with the designer to talk about any issues that came up while the work was being done.

We are not trying to say you can’t do it yourself, we are just letting you know there’s often a lot more to remodeling than you think. If you plan and do a lot of research, you can do it yourself. But remember, this is all the professional does everyday. It might be worth a little bit more to have it done by a professional.