If you have the time and want to save some money, I have listed some steps you might be able to tackle yourself the next time you choose to hire out a home improvement project. What I have listed here doesn’t require construction experience or expensive tools… it just requires a little muscle, and a lot of patience. Be sure to go over your “DIY” details when discussing your remodeling project(s) with your contractor(s).
1.Move your furniture and personal belongings out of the areas to be worked on. This is generally an easy (but time consuming) task many homeowners overlook.
2.Do some of the demolition yourself. Have the contractor explain what needs to be done, BEFORE tearing into your home. He/she should tell you when to start it, and the safe way to do it. Please leave the removal of roofing, concrete, framing, wires, and pipes to the professionals.
3. Buy your own appliances and fixtures. If a contractor has to pick up and deliver appliances or fixtures, he/she is going to mark up the price on those items to accommodate for his/her time invested. Have all the fixtures and appliances you want to use picked out and available for your contractor by your project’s start date.
4. If you have a steady hand and a lot of patience, you could tackle the painting yourself. Be sure to prime first. I recommend using a latex primer and a latex topcoat. Latex can be cleaned up with water, while oil based paint requires harsh chemicals for clean up. If using a dark top coat, have them tint your primer at the store (primer is generally white). For interior wall topcoats, I recommend using paint with an eggshell finish. An eggshell finish will be cleanable, but won’t make the walls look shiny. For ceilings, I recommend using a flat paint. For interior trim, I recommend using a semi-gloss paint. Buy a high quality angled brush to “cut in” around baseboards and along the ceiling. Tape can cause latex paint to peel, and sometimes it can be more of a hassle than a help. Purchase a high quality roller cover to paint with. Cheap roller covers tend to leave “lint” behind as you roll. Also, use high quality paint. It covers better, and is easier to work with. Using high quality products all around will make the task much, much easier. If you are drastically changing the color, keep in mind that you will probably need two coats for the finished product to look good, even when using a tinted primer.