How To Handle A Big DIY Project For Your Home

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broken roof || beschädigtes Dach

Not Jonathan’s actual roof, fortunately.

Let’s talk “do-it-yourself” (DIY) projects … big ones. I recently started stripping and replacing the roof on my house.

Now, before I go any further, let’s make one thing clear: Big projects like this are best left to professionals with the necessary experience and licenses. That being said, sometimes you are lucky enough to have a family member or friend with applicable experience (which I do) and they are crazy enough to give up multiple weekend(s) to help you (which they are).

In such cases, DIY projects are a great way to save some money, be creative in your approach (within reason, of course), and gain a sense of accomplishment (assuming, of course, you finish). So before setting out on this “lofty” endeavor (ha-ha, get it? Lofty? Never mind), consider the following things.


Safety First

I can’t stress this enough. If you are considering a serious project, especially those off the ground, a few ladders won’t cut it. You will need to consider temporary staging, support beams, and even harnesses for those less than OK with heights. Speaking of heights, if you afraid of them, fixing your roof is probably not the best DIY project. Just saying.

Do Your Research

Not all roofs are created equal. What is its pitch? What type of roofing is most suitable? What type of shingles do you need? (That’s right, there are different types not just different colors … who knew?) How about all the “stuff” that goes under the roof? The point being, before you scale your roof and start tearing up shingles, do your research.

This is true for any big home projects. Know what you’re getting into.

Be Careful With “0% For 6 months” Offers

When you buy a house, Home Depot or Lowe’s will most likely become your second home. And while walking into either of these stores can elicit the same visceral reaction that Augustus Gloop felt wandering into Willy Wonka’s chocolate room, I urge you to proceed with caution.

If you need to make a larger purchase, opening a store card or line of credit is certainly an option. However, before doing so, make sure you fully understand the terms of the agreement, make your payments on time, and pay off the balance in a timely manner. Sound familiar?

Find Your Motivation

In the end, my decision to tackle this massive project was driven primarily by the chance to save some money. Based on preliminary research and a couple price quotes, I’m hoping to finish the entire project at roughly half the cost it would have cost me otherwise—and that includes materials and “labor.” (By the way, if your help won’t accept money, make sure to feed them early and often!)

Not a bad start for my first major home project.

Have a tip for undertaking a serious home improvement project on your own? Share it below.

(Photo: paraflyer)

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