Advice for First-Time Home Renovators

Advice for First-Time Home Renovators
  • Opening Intro -

    You're a new homeowner and your home requires some maintenance or repairs to bring it up to snuff.

    If you haven't worked on a home before, doing your own maintenance can seem a bit intimidating, but it is a move that can save you much money and provide a sense of ownership that you might otherwise miss.


Before you begin work on a project, consider the following as you explore what lies ahead. Yes, not every project that needs to get done should be handled by you. Read on for tips on what jobs you can do and what ones you should outsource to the professionals.

1. Electrical

— Okay, working with electricity can be dangerous. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move forward. Electricity maintenance and upgrades are best left to the professionals. Moreover, legally you may need an electrician to rewire the home, connect your security system or upgrade your fuse box.

Electrical jobs that you can handle — with care of course — include stripping and crimping wiring, replacing fuses and installing equipment that requires an electrical charge. Handle what you can and farm out the rest to a qualified electrician.

2. Plumbing

— You can handle a myriad of plumbing jobs yourself ranging from replacing faucets to swapping out the toilet. You may be able to handle the water pump replacement, but if it is a gas unit you’ll still need a pro to make the connection and ensure that noxious fumes do not poison your household.

Other jobs best left to a plumber include shower and hot tub installation, a sewer line repair and running a drain underneath the concrete. You may also want to seek professional help with replacing the dishwasher and definitely for any jobs involving the septic tank.

3. Kitchen

— Replace the kitchen flooring, upgrade the counters and install a backsplash if you wish. The counters may prove to be the most difficult to replace, but with careful measurement you can do the job yourself.

What you might want to leave to the professionals is any change in the kitchen cabinets beyond refacing the cabinet doors. You may also want to leave the under cabinet lighting to a professional and seek help when putting in a new ventilated hood. There are enough plumbing and electrical concerns in your kitchen that should be left to the pros too.

Looking to remodel or update your kitchen?

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4. Landscaping

— Certainly, you can reseed the lawn yourself. You may also be able to plant or move pushes, trim the lower branches of your trees and install yard lighting.

Problems begin to arise when your lawn has problems. Such as an infestation of grubs, billbugs and chinch bugs that can be difficult to detect and gotten rid of. You may find that your lawn also has various beetles and ants, beneficial insects that you do not want to kills. A landscape professional can help keep the good insects around while killing off the bad.

Home Jobs

If in doubt about any job, seek help. Some tasks can be successfully accomplished with the assistance of a neighbor or friend, enabling you to learn as you go. Other jobs require professional assistance, something that will cost you more money up front, but can save your money and headaches down the road. When seeking professional help, always get references and verify that the pro has current licensing. This person must have insurance coverage too and that coverage should extend to his helpers.



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Categories: Home Interior

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".