Don’t Get In Over Your Head

The DIYer

With more than 30 years in the Home Improvement business, I have found that the biggest issue I run into is people not properly planning for cost.

No matter if you’re a DIYer or hiring someone to do the work for you, before you start a project, know what the costs are.

Some businesses will include the material with their estimate. Understand that when doing so, they (understandably) figure in extra to cover themselves. Other businesses will price jobs for labor only (price is plus material), in doing so they can give you a lower price, this protects them in case material costs run over. As a DIYer, you may not fully understand all the material involved, and the unforeseen material can add up real fast.

No matter if you’re hiring someone to do the work or doing it yourself, I found a website that can help ( Their online (free) calculator will help you to figure out everything from material alone to overall cost (including labor), if you’re hiring someone to do the work.

As a contractor, I have used this service many times as a reference and found their pricing to be pretty accurate, and I encourage my customers to compare my prices with theirs. This will help you with the main cost for the main portion of your projects.

Understanding the extras:

If you’re tackling big projects, understand that there are usually extras that will come up.

For example if you’re remodeling a bathroom, it is not uncommon to run into unforeseen plumbing and/or electrical repairs. Even on small projects, something as simple as cutting a piece of wood or paneling can add on the cost. Remember no body is perfect and anyone (even an experienced contractor) can make a mistake when cutting once in awhile. So on every project (big or small), add on a few dollars to your allowance to allow for the unforeseen.

So when planning your budget for your project(s), it is always best to add on 25 percent for extra. It is better to have a few dollars left afterwards, than be spending more than you had budgeted.

If there is a project you would like to see in The DIYer, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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