Remember not all DIY remodeling projects are considered equal

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799

Before tackling any remodeling, take time to consider the expertise you will need. Do your homework and use these 10 points as a checklist:

1. Don’t believe you have the skill for every home remodeling project

2. Don’t enlist inexperienced friends and family to help

3. Understand your budget and don’t assume you won’t go over

4. Don’t underestimate the time for any project always add a little for the unexpected

5. Investigate the local building codes and area regulations

6. Gather pictures of what you want (they are worth a 1,000 words) and show them to your contractor

7. Don’t risk your safety in trying to finish up a remodeling project

8. Make sure you have all the components before beginning any remodeling

9. Research - guarantee you have all the specifics before tackling any project

10. Where there is a will there is a way for any remodeling project. Seek professional advice it will be worth it in the long run

Taking on a remodeling job could be in your future. Be smart and know there are many factors to consider. Your favorite make over TV show makes it look so’s not! Many home remodeling projects involve more expertise than others.

It’s wise to take on projects every year...don’t try and play catch up when you go to sell. Many homeowners believe their home is a work in progress and take pride in timely updates and enjoy their new looks!

Experts and studies tell us the 2 areas of your home you will receive the largest ROI on remodeling is the kitchen and master bath. Buyers are expecting updates in those areas if they are going to be swayed to pay top dollar. However the practical buyer can be swayed by the following projects and they won’t break the bank and adds value while giving you a decent RIO:

1. Front door refurbishing

Your front door is like the cover on a book- it suggests what you might find inside. First impressions are so important!


2. Window replacement

Energy efficiency is a top priority for many practical buyers who are looking closely at their monthly utility bills.


3. Modernize your lighting

Buyers love bright rooms and want plenty of lighting. Is it time to add recessed lighting to the kitchen and living area? How about checking out the new looks and change those dated light fixtures?


4. Systematize your closets

Storage is a high priority for many buyers. Cluttered closets draw attention to the size of closet storage. Changing the function of your closet with closet organizers, appeals to the concern of storage space.


Before you consider any remodeling project large or small determine what skill set and experience you possess to execute a project. Be honest with yourself and seek professional advice when you know a project is out of your area of expertise. Time is money and many subscribe to the motto “I’ll do what I do best and hire the rest.” Remember not all DIY projects are considered equal and the same goes for the person attempting the DIY project!


Thinking of selling your NW Austin home? Reach out to me at 512-346-1799 or so we can explore your options. I’d be happy to provide you with a market analysis and free consultation. I live in NW Austin and can help prospective sellers go from Listed to Sold with my online and print marketing. I offer hands on Professional guidance for all your real estate needs.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gabe Sanders 12/26/2016 11:42 PM
  2. Sheri Sperry - MCNE® 01/03/2017 05:00 AM
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Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

This may sound like an echo but these are excellent points to make regarding do-it-yourself projects! I think if you don't get it right the first time, and you keep trying and it keeps getting worse, it's going to cost a whole lot more to get the job done right. Sometimes, mistakes aren't worth it and should be avoided at all costs!

Dec 19, 2016 08:51 PM #11
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Dorie ---you have shared very good points and while there wasn't an official contest for "best" --- this is my choice:

3. Understand your budget and don’t assume you won’t go over

Dec 20, 2016 05:40 AM #12
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Good points here, Dorie. What I see happen is that folks stop short hoping to save a little money and the lack of quality shows on the finished product.

Dec 20, 2016 05:55 AM #13
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

With today's technology, a picture is worth a thousand words can take on an entire new meaning.  Want to see what your house would look like with a new kitchen, give the remodeler the photos of what is there and they can change it to your wishes.  Same with a front door.

Dec 20, 2016 06:29 AM #14
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

I can't even count the number of listings I got after a couple undertook a renovation and wound up in divorce court!  In addition to everything else that can go crazy, and unresolved control issue a couple has will be so magnified by a reno!  

Dec 20, 2016 07:14 AM #15
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Excellent tips and advice Dorie. This really should be featured!

Dec 21, 2016 05:18 AM #16
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

SO true and such a good warning, i have a new listing where they put their own back door in. Yikes it is crooked Dorie Dillard 

Dec 21, 2016 06:36 AM #17
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

                                   Thank you Dorie Dillard 

Dec 24, 2016 05:22 PM #18
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Dorie

This is an excellent guide to DIY project and things to consider doing or not and why. Some projects are probably best left to the experts, especially when plumbing and electrical are concerned. And we all know you cannot assume all remodel costs, large or small, will be recaptured upon the sale of the home.


Dec 25, 2016 09:42 PM #19
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Oh yes, I have seen such a wide range of DIY.  Every once in a while I'm surprised, but the majority of the time it's obvious that it's a DIY job.

Dec 26, 2016 04:17 AM #20
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I can see why Kathy chose to high light your post this week!

Dec 26, 2016 07:46 AM #21
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Very timely info, Dorie Dillard ... as we'll soon be heading into another New Year ... and busy home remodeling season here in the Midwest.  You provide a textbook for those tackling jobs soon ...


Dec 26, 2016 08:16 AM #22
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
HomeSmart - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

You made it to Kathy Streibs list of best of last week, congrats.  Nice post.

Dec 26, 2016 01:48 PM #23
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

There are so many projects that one can do to enhance the value of the home.

The best & easiest is keep the house clean free of clutter. Make it look roomy and comfortable.


Dec 26, 2016 08:17 PM #24
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Dorie Dillard - I double check to see if this was featured... it should be. This post has a lot of value.  In number 5, I would emphasize to my clients to make sure permits are pulled. Talk directly to the department that handles permits and inspections....depending on the type of remodel.  I have seen way to many remodels that are not permitted creating additional problems.

Dec 27, 2016 05:59 AM #25
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Know what you don't know....unless the homeowner is a contractor or exceptionally to pay someone who is !

Jan 03, 2017 05:08 AM #26
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Dorie, I love the post. I have bookmarked it and will share it with others

Jan 03, 2017 06:16 AM #27
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again Dorie. I don't know how I missed this, but it is excellent. This should be a handout. Well done

Jan 03, 2017 06:51 AM #28
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Dorie - I almost missed this great post - it's wonderful advice for anyone thinking of taking on a remodeling project. I perfected my approach to that situation long ago - I call the contractor : )

Jan 03, 2017 03:32 PM #29
Beth Bromund
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Rochester, MI
REALTOR (248) 651-3500

If anyone can tell you did it yourself then it's not good enough.  Great list!

Jan 18, 2017 10:15 AM #30
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Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate
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