BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

DIY: Tips To Know When Should You Throw in the Towel

Stressed out woman DIY: Tips To Know When Should You Throw in the TowelCome on, admit it. You’ve looked at the detailed instructions for cabinet refacing, and you’re almost certain you can do it. After all, how hard can be it be? You simply remove the cabinet doors, remove the hardware, clean everything and then replace it with the new stuff. Even if you choose to use your old cabinets and just give them a fresh coat of veneer, it can’t be too hard. Right?

The truth is that any home improvement project can quickly get out of hand. This is especially true when you are dealing with a large project, such as that cabinet refacing. It might seem easy on the surface, but once you start tearing the doors off the cabinets, don’t be surprised if you run into serious issues.

Diving into that new project can be fun, but you should always be prepared to call the contractor if you need backup. Here are a few moments that make it crystal clear you need a professional’s help:

You find an unexpected surprise

You’ve heard the horror stories of the homeowner who pulled apart a cabinet only to find termites¬† underneath, or the simple flooring job that turned into a month of constant delays and challenges. If you get into the project and then get a nasty surprise, stop everything right then and there. Call in the professionals, at least to take a look and tell you whether it is a good idea to keep going.

You are way over budget on time

The professionals have the proper tools, plenty of experience and often a crew of people to make sure that the job gets done on time. You don’t have that same luxury. If you find that your weekend project is taking a whole month to complete, it might pay to call the pros to pick up the slack.

The details were wrong from the start

This is often a headache for those who are trying a project for the first time. One small mistake in measurements or materials can lead to serious problems halfway through the project. Then what? If you are going to have to start all over again, maybe a contractor is the best option.

You aren’t comfortable with the tools

If you haven’t used tools that often in the past, you might not be ready to fire up that drill make good use of the saw. Being unsure of how to use the tools — and being afraid of them — can actually lead to serious injury. Before you embark on a project that requires the use of serious power tools, make sure you are comfortable with using them.

Your sanity is at risk

Okay, so maybe you’re not in line for the looney bin, but you might be considering taking a chainsaw to the whole deal and calling it a day. If you have ever tried a home improvement project and watched it go awry, you know exactly how it can affect your state of mind. If you get to a point of frustration that makes you want to burn the house down, it’s time to call the contractor to restore your peace of mind.

When should you call a professional?

Though your kitchen cabinet refacing cost might seem to be very low when you do it on your own, running into these problems can mean the cost of a contractor on top of what you have already paid. That means the job costs much more than if you had simply called the contractor at the start. Before you begin any project, make sure you are capable and have the time to handle it. Otherwise, go ahead and call in the pros.

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Shannon Dauphin Lee

Shannon Dauphin Lee is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. When she's not writing, she and her husband are taking road trips to explore covered bridges, little wineries and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns in their beloved Pennsylvania.

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