Surpassing the Ordinary

Home Projects and Renovations – Do it Yourself or Go Pro?

With summer in full gear, home projects are ramping up for many homeowners.  After watching HGTV, reviewing countless Pinterest boards, seeing creative ideas on Facebook, the thought of doing it yourself (DIY) can be an attractive one.  The question is, when it comes to making these ideas a reality, where is the dividing line between projects that qualify as DIY and projects that should be left to the professionals?  Many homeowners have gone the DIY route with great success.  Others with great failure.  The key lies in knowing when you are in over your head.  Epic Building Company has laid out some of the pros and cons for each route.

For a DIYer, wrapping up a home improvement project that you can boast about to your family and friends will probably leave them with a great feeling of accomplishment and most likely cost savings.  There can be both learning and teaching opportunities between younger and older generations, and good times had along the way.  However, it is important to assess your preparedness for taking on the project you have in mind.

Epic Building Company has compiled a list of important questions to ask yourself before you make your decisions:

What will you do if something doesn’t go according to plan?  Often times, surprises come up along the way.  Unlevel floors, poor craftsmanship, water damage, and numerous other surprises are all too common occurrences in home remodeling.

What is your course of action if you come across additional work that may be out of your comfort zone?  Maybe you were simply planning to re-tile the shower, but upon demo you came across water damaged wall and floor framing and you aren’t comfortable doing the structural repairs.  It is always best to have a plan of action in place in the event something arises. During a recent kitchen renovation EBC discovered rotten wood inside a window casing. We were able to quickly and easily remedy the situation where a DIYer may have had a major delay in the home’s project to seek out professional help.

Do you know when building, mechanical, or zoning permits are required?  Many home projects will require permits and inspections throughout the process.  Depending on the municipality, homeowners can pull permits for work they perform, but they will still be held to the same standards as professional contractors.

Do you have the tools required to complete the project?  Having the right tools for the job can be underestimated.  In many cases, having the right tool is as much about safety as it is ease of completing the project.  Proper tools can also lead to a better finished product.

How much time are you willing to invest in the project?  Let’s face it, we are all busy.

Between work, recreational activities, family time, and your normal list of chores, adding a construction project to the list is something that should require serious consideration.  Take the time to prepare a schedule and evaluate your estimated time of completion.

Asking yourself those questions among others will help you determine whether you are up for the task or not.

There are also several benefits for working with a reputable general contractor like Epic Building Company (EBC) or a specialized trade contractor for your project.  Professional designers will consider all aspects of the design and use of the space while presenting options and ideas you may overlook.

A reputable contractor will pull all necessary permits and work with local building officials to be sure the final result is safe and meets all code requirements.  This can be important for resale purposes.  Other benefits to using a professional general contractor like Epic Building Company are superior craftsmanship, trade management, expedited schedule, and limited surprises. EBC utilizes EPICenter, an innovative online project management tool designed to simplify your renovation or custom home build with tools that streamline and organize every part of the project.

As a general rule, we recommend that homeowners seek professional help for projects like window installation, major plumbing changes, electrical work, gas piping, HVAC work, structural changes, roofing, and major remodels or additions.  These items are better left to the professionals for a multitude of reasons.

Whether you decide on DIY or using a professional general contractor like Epic Building Company, each option has its own set of rewards. The key lies in deciding which route will bring out the best in your home while considering long term functionality, aesthetics, safety and durability.

** Stay tuned for our next blog that will discuss choosing the right contractor for your project.

Crooked tile:

Potty, anyone?


For more funny epic fail renovation pictures, visit here or here.

*All photos courtesy of