Home Improvements: DIY Or Call In The Pros?

Now that we’ve entered into a new year, one of the things that’s going to be pretty high on a lot of people’s list of priorities is home improvements.

Whether they want to sell their home or simply use the space they have more effectively, the new year often gets people thinking about the things they could do in order to get a little bit more out of their home.

And when people start to think about this, there’s one question that comes to mind above pretty much all others: do you deal with it yourself or do you bring in a professional? Here are a few things that you can consider in order to make that decision just a little bit easier.



Money is almost always the biggest factor that people consider when deciding if they can handle a home improvement project themselves. Let’s face it, most large-scale home improvement projects are going to end up being pretty pricey when you consider the labour costs involved.

However, doing it yourself may not work out that much cheaper since you’re going to end up having to pay for all of the materials yourself, as well as pay for any tools that you might need but don’t have. At least with builders, you’re going to know what you’re paying right at the start rather than having your budget spiral way out of control.



The other important issue is one of exactly how long a project is going to take. After all, the last thing anyone wants is to spend their days on a building site for months on end.

If you try to deal with the project yourself, then it could end up taking a long time whereas professionals are more likely to get things done more quickly.

Then again, if time isn’t really an issue for you, then you might decide that the DIY approach is better.



The reality is that professional builders are almost always going to have greater expertise than any amateur and when it comes to your home you might decide that you don’t want to take the risk of making mistakes.

If you do decide to go the DIY route then there are plenty of resources out there that you can use. There’s information online about practically everything, and no matter what your project calls for, you’ll be able to find some way to learn about it. Just remember that knowing how to do something and actually being able to put it into practice aren’t always the same things.


You can’t often get all of these three things together. Someone who has good expertise might be quick, and will do a good job but won’t come cheap. You can set a low budget, but the job might take much longer, especially if you’re doing a lot yourself. Think about what your biggest priority is. If you want the job done quickly, you may end up paying more.

There are going to be those who know exactly what they’re doing and can handle any project, no matter how big it is, and there are others who have so little DIY expertise that they will want to call in a professional no matter what.

Most of us exist somewhere in the middle and having these things to think about can make the decision of whether or not to bring in a professional or to handle it yourself that much simpler.


What to Remember when Planning a Home Extension

Planning a home extension is a huge project. Here are some things to keep in mind.

If your home is in the perfect location and you like most things about it but it’s no longer big enough for your family, you’re probably tempted to build a home extension.

But is that a suitable project for your home? In order to answer that question and make the big decision, you need to know what you’re getting into and what you’re likely to face once it all begins. Read on to learn more about the process itself and what you need to think about when planning a home extension.


Your Neighbours Could Block Your Plans

The people around you have the power to veto the construction work. If they think the new extension will negatively impact them, they can make a point of it. Things like the ‘right to light’ do exist. If you block light that would otherwise reach your neighbours by building in front of it, you’ll be running the risk of having the whole project torpedoed.

It would be respectful to ask them beforehand if you’re on good terms. Or at least tell them of your plans so it doesn’t come as a shock. Many neighbourly feuds come from doing things that involves them without permission. Talk over your plans, don’t just build a large extension right up to their garden fence. Be polite, and they’ll more than likely be fine with your home extension.


Costs Will Probably Become Higher Than You Anticipate

As you should already be aware, this isn’t going to be cheap for you. You need to be prepared for the costs that you’re likely to incur. Even then, you’re probably not going to calculate the costs with 100% accuracy. There might be some hidden fault that needs to be fixed, e.g. dodgy foundations.

In truth, most building projects go over budget, so whatever you expect the work to cost, add some more money on top of that. Easier said than done, I know. But it’s always worthwhile having a backup plan.


Don’t Forget the Insurance

Site insurance is a vital aspect of this project. If you don’t have it, you’ll be putting yourself at risk. Things can always go wrong, and when you’re undertaking constructions projects like this, they often do.

If you forget to take out site insurance and something does go wrong, you’ll be left with the financial burden as you attempt to pick up the pieces and get things back on track.


Get it All Assessed at the End

Even when the work’s done, the work still isn’t really over. That might sound like a contradiction, but you have to make sure that it’s all safe and ready to use. If it isn’t, further work might be necessary. Companies like Allcott Associates Chartered Surveyors can help you with the survey. This will ensure the structure is secure and meets the relevant building regulations.


Be Sure the Benefits Outweigh the Hassle

Just be sure that the extension you end up with is going to be significant enough to justify all the things you need to go through. There certainly is a lot of work and expense involved in creating what is essentially a very small structure on the side or back of your existing home.

As long as you feel that the benefits outweigh any of the hassle involved, you should be ready to get started.

It might also be worth thinking about the selling costs. I know that with our house, building an extension would be a waste of money. The house will only ever be worth so much because of its location. Even if we added 3 bedrooms, a triple garage and a hot tub in the garden, we still wouldn’t get more than about £185k. Think about whether you extension plans will actually make you money in the future.


The final decision as to whether or not you should push ahead with these plans is up to you. However, don’t expect an easy or smooth ride because that’s never how it goes when you’re planning a home extension.





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