By: Bill Leesman

D-I-Y – Should you really?

Tags: D-I-Y – Should you really?

D-I-Y: The acronym that is ever so popular today.

Do I even need to break it down?

No, it is so well used that everyone knows what it is. We talk with people every day and often the ‘guilty pleasure’ that many have, is watching HGTV and thevarious home renovation shows. And through the use of editing, producers and editors make it look like these hosts are experts and that DIY is easy.

But D-I-Y isn’t that easy.


So when DO you DIY and look to save money?

  1. If you paint like a pro –
    Most home appraisers and Realtors® will tell you the best return on reinvestment in home is fresh paint. You want to increase the value and saleability? Put a fresh coat of paint and voila. Instant ROI. But that is not entirely true. If it doesn’t look like a professional paint job, it actually decreases the saleability and value of your home as potential buyers wonder at the quality of the rest of the home. And don’t get me started on paint colors. Choosing bold because they did on TV is also just as dangerous.
  2. Minor repairs only please –
    I am not saying you need to bring in a pro for every job. Refurbishing kitchen cabinet hardware is easy, and can be done by the most un-handiest of people. Ask me. I know. But once it goes beyond very basic jobs, a professional is best. Hanging cabinets, laying tile, or any other job that requires the proper skill and tools, needs to be done right. If you cannot do it so that your detail oriented mother-in-law would praise you, then bring in someone who can.
  3. Plumbing and electrical? Just say no –
    Even the handiest of people need to know when their skills are not enough. Unless you are a journeyman plumber or electrician, walk away and bring in the professionals. Listen, these two areas, along with HVAC and roofing and other areas that require specialized training, require permits and skills that just make sense to bring in professionals who also warranty their work. One note on trades, they are not all the same. Our next blog will discuss the value of hiring the best. At the very very least – do it with a permit and have it inspected!
I know that getting in there and getting your hands dirty is appealing to many of us who watch the HGTV reno shows. And a lot of the minor fixes and upgrades can be done by a home owner to add value to a home. But DIY is not for everything or everyone.

We show homes with buyers all the time, and we both have a sense when it has not been done with a professional finish. When that happens, the value goes down in their mind. So sometimes, it is best to spend the money and bring in people whose careers are built around the home building/renovation industry.

The bottom line is this – if you can’t finish it like a pro, you can’t sell it like a pro.


If you finish it like a DIY – you sell it as a DIY!