The ongoing question…Do you do the project yourself or hire a qualified contractor? When I put my real estate hat on, I can’t tell you how many times I see homes that had a non-experienced person perform the work. How can I tell? Let’s start with a basic remodel and then go to building a house.
How can I tell when a person did not know what they were doing or following code, etc? Recently I saw a home that had been remodeled. It was an old home inside the city limits. Normally, when you have a home inside the city limits, codes need to be followed. If there are any repairs to electric, the electric needs to be brought up to code. If the A/C is replaced, a permit will need to be pulled. The stairway banisters had been refinished, but still remained too low. When we worked on an old stairway, we actually brought it to code. We extended the height of the railing. This seems simple, but if you go to resale, the inspector will put this on his report. Permits within the city limits need to be pulled on some of the repairs. If you are adding on to the home, you need to get a permit. If you are in a subdivision, you might need to submit your additions to the architectural committee for approval. If you are hiring someone to do any of these things, ask them if they are getting the work permitted, hiring licensed contractors, or if they know what needs to be done per the city or subdivision. Another thing, if you do it yourself, you sure don’t have a warranty to fix it. Let’s say you install the tile in the walk-in shower. All of a sudden, the mortar starts to fall out, followed by tiles falling out. Are you going to fix it or call someone to do it right?
When I recently saw another home, it was built by the owner. Most things would not pass an inspection. From the foundation to electric, there were many things that needed to be repaired. As the owner building your own place, you might think you are saving money, but it could be costing you a lot if you go to sell. Here again, that inspector will find those things and you could have to fix, give credit, or just reduce to sell. Building a whole house yourself can be more difficult than you think. Not only do you need to know something about building, but you need to know how to plan, schedule, and select people to do the job. I always think, When building a house for your family, one would think you would want to make it the safest possible. Do you know what kind of materials to buy? Are you buying cheap materials, using old items you know nothing about, are you using materials suitable for the size of your home? If you are using an old electric panel someone gave you, what is the warranty? The electrician can install, but if something goes wrong, who will be responsible? These are simple things to think about. Don’t try to save money when it comes to protecting yourself, your family, and the possibility of selling at a later date. Can you do it yourself? Yes. But will it be the best thing to do? Think about the whole picture. Again, I would highly recommend that you hire someone who has the experience.
For all Your Real Estate and Building needs or questions, call Debbie at 830-833-4249 or 713-818-6658.