There’s no need to check DIY home remodeling statistics to validate the industry’s growth. Just visit a Home Depot, Lowe’s or other major home improvement store on the weekend. It’s bustling.
But let’s look anyway. According to recent statistics, the global DIY market is expected to hit $43.7 billion in sales by 2018, up from $31.9 billion in 2013. That’s a lot of homeowners making improvements themselves.
If you’re considering a DIY remodeling project, you need to understand which projects provide the most bang for your buck–and when to call a professional, especially if you’re thinking about selling your home. A project gone wrong could lead to costlier headaches further down the road.
Take a look at the pros, cons and professional advice for top home improvement projects.
- Kitchen. It’s often said that the kitchen can make or break a home’s potential to lure potential buyers. But it can also be one of the most expensive projects to take on, with the average kitchen remodel totaling just under $22,000, according to HomeAdvisor.com. More conservative remodels, which can include refacing cabinets and upgrading the sink, can range from $10,000 to $15,000.
- DIY advice: Most homeowners can manage painting walls, refinishing cabinets and replacing backsplashes themselves. For plumbing projects, such as installing a new kitchen sink or hooking up a new refrigerator, it is best to contact an experienced plumber. Popular Mechanics agrees. “Learning to fix your leaks or replace your toilet can save you money, but DIY plumbing can turn to disaster quickly if you’re not careful,” it says. The same goes for electrical work.
- Bathroom. A bathroom remodel will range from $10,000 to $15,000 if you’re planning to replace the floor, bathtub, and sink. To bring costs down, limit the remodel to painting and replacing light fixtures. Refinishing the bathtub also is a less expensive option than totally replacing the bathtub.
- DIY advice: Some home improvement stores offer DIY supplies for refinishing the bathtub, but a professional finish is best achieved by an expert. As with the kitchen, contact a professional plumber if you plan to replace the bathtub. In some cases, a good scrubbing and caulking (which a beginner can easily handle) can give your bathroom a temporary upgrade.
- Family rooms, bedrooms. Quite understandably, family rooms, entryways, hallways and bedrooms will be among your most DIY-friendly options, because these projects don’t involve major plumbing or electrical work. Remodeling projects should be limited to painting, resurfacing or laying laminate, hardwood or carpet flooring.
- DIY advice: Many of these projects can revitalize the look of your home with minimal DIY investment. However, it’s best to consider hiring a professional if your home has high, hard-to-reach ceilings. The risk of falling could be too great, and it may be difficult to achieve an even finish. Professionals have the experience and tools to do the job more effectively.
Taking on DIY projects can be rewarding if you choose the right ones. When it doubt, pick up the phone and call a professional. It could very well save you in the long run.