Last week I posted the first part in a three part series where I take some common household projects and I explain whether you should do them yourself, or hire a contractor for them. Last week was the easy stuff. These were things that you don’t really need that much skill to do, and definitely don’t need to hire a contractor for it. This week I’m gonna list a couple projects that do take a bit more skill than your average person, but still shouldn’t be all that difficult:
Any type of flooring: I’m going to include three things in here because they all deal with the floor. This would include things like tiling, hardwood floors, and carpeting. What makes the three of these especially difficult are the tools that are required to install them. Not everyone has a tile cutter or a flooring stapler laying around the house. However, as you can see by the links, you can easily pop over to your local Home Depot and get them. The challenges that these projects have is the time and patience it takes to actually put them all together. You also can easily run into problems when you’re dealing with corners, edges, or any angles that your house might have. Having a level for straightedging and a trowel on hand as well is also highly recommended.
Installing drapes or window treatments: This is one of the easier projects in the medium category. The hardest part about this is measuring the length of the window to figure out how much overlap you need (so you don’t have those annoying cracks of light that wake you up at 7 in the morning on a Saturday) and figuring out the length of fabric to cut when you actually make the drapes. Whenever drapes puddle (lay on the ground) they can cause problems such as tripping and if they are by a heater or radiator they can catch fire. Make sure that you’re precise in your measuring to prevent these problems.
Installing doors and cabinets: Going from the easiest of jobs in this category to the hardest. The biggest problem when installing these is that there isn’t really a uniform measurement. With both of these you will probably have to make some manual cuts and measurements which, if you’re not careful, can backfire on you. When it comes to doors The Family Handyman has a great step-by-step in order to help you get the hang of it. Installing cabinets has it’s own set of challenges. First off it is AT LEAST a two person job, and the more people you have to help you the better. It calls for precise measurement and leveling, and requires a specific order of construction. It’s not all doom and gloom with cabinets either because it can be kind of fun to put together if you pretend it’s some giant puzzle. If you want some additional help and research This Old House has a good overview.
These projects all require a bit more elbow grease than your normal quick weekend job, but they are entirely doable if you have the right skill set and done the right amount of research. The biggest piece of advice on doing these projects is to do your research. That can be asking a handy friend or family member, or just popping online and reading some articles and some step-by-steps, these can make or break your home improvement project.
Next week I’ll list some advanced projects that really require a good steady hand, and probably some previous training or experience. These projects are by no means impossible to do without a handyman or contractor, but unless you’re really confident in your ability you might want to look into it.
Build safe out there! =)