Do it Yourself – Famous Last Words

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By Adam Helfman, Hire it Done

The single most common cause for broken legs, plumbing geysers and home-project mayhem?

Overconfidence.

Many projects begin simply, so it becomes natural to wonder what all the fuss was about. Unfortunately, the pitfalls and detours are typically hiding below the surface. The moment your living room looks like an elephant stormed through it is usually when you find out you need to be a master electrician to go any further.

So before you assure your concerned family or even yourself that you got this, make sure not to utter any of these famous last words and land in heap of trouble.

  1. “This isn’t dangerous…I watched a guy do it on YouTube.” If the project involves electricity, heights, knives or power tools, you may want to think twice about doing it yourself. Over 600,000 people visit hospitals each year due to injuries inflicted doing home improvement projects themselves. This is not meant to scare you off, but if you aren’t very strict and thorough with regard to safety, one slip on the ladder may ruin a lot more than your clogged gutters.
  2. “Of course I’ll finish this project before the party.” If bragging about a completed project makes you feel like the Homeowner of the Year, answering questions for months about why that “one piece of crown molding has never been painted”, will make you feel like the slumlord of your own home. Many times the unfinished project looks worse than the one that was never started.
  3. “I painted my apartment in college…I know how to do this.” Know your limitations. This piece of advice is very appropriate for home improvement. For 99.9% of homeowners, you would never consider replacing a roof, installing new windows or a new furnace. Maybe tiling a floor, painting a bedroom, fixing a running toilet are the types of projects that you think you can tackle. However, if you have an issue hanging a picture so that it is level, you may not want to build that custom bookcase.
  4. “We are going to save SOOO much money!” This is certainly one of the top reasons people try to do home improvement projects themselves. If you are confident and experienced enough to get past the first three issues above, there is a good chance you will save money.
  5. “You can’t trust most contractors; they just want to rip you off.” Every homeowner has had an experience with some type of contractor that left a very bad taste. They show up late (if at all), track mud in your house, never have the parts they need, park on your lawn, leave trash in the driveway, try to sell something you don’t need, use your bathroom without asking and light up cigarettes in your house. The list goes on.

I spoke with one of Hire it Done’s pre-screened licensed and insured contractors Keith Paul, owner of HandyPro Handyman Services in Plymouth, Michigan. In his 19 years of running HandyPro, he’s seen it all. “We get called in on projects at every stage; from the time a project is just being conceived, to rescuing a homeowner from a failed attempt.  We understand that ambition, experience and time don’t always come together as planned.”

I know that HandyPro staffs only experienced professionals, all covered with the proper licensing and insurance. Further, Keith and his staff understand the issues and anxieties that come with home improvement and using a contractor. “We always give free estimates because the only way a homeowner knows if he will save money doing it themselves, is if they know how much a professional will charge them,” he said. “We also know that your time is critical. That’s why we have a One Hour Arrival Time Guarantee. If we’re late, you get a discount.”

If you are looking for the best contractors, visit www.hireitdone.com and describe your project.  I’ve hand-selected only the best contractors in Southeast Michigan and you can be sure that the only famous last words you will utter will be: “Thanks Adam. Your contractors are the best!”

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