10 DIY TIPS FROM A GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Hi Friends! We are in the era of DIY now more than ever! This beautiful photo is the Villa Cortille from one of my favorite sites Decoholic.

As a woman general contractor and a DIYer I have learned some tips and tricks to pass on! I am so excited that you all are jumping in too! First, keep in mind not all projects are created equal…use professionals if the project is too big, you don’t understand it, or you are not qualified to complete it. So arm yourself with some blue tape, a big tape measure, start small and go for it…there’s nothing like a DIY project!

Start with hybrid projects…they are great so you can do the phases your comfortable with and hire the professionals for what they do best!

There are 2 things that are nonnegotiable!.  Do not to attempt anything yourself that is not SAFE and could cause damage or harm. The Average is 15% upfront with some exceptions. Just remember if the amount raises a red flag its probably for a reason!

1 – Negotiate – everything is negotiable, paint, tile, wood…anything.

2 – Order it yourself – ask your installer what you need and order it, unless they give you a bigger discount. Specialty stores are very knowledgeable and helpful. Be sure you have everything that is needed to complete the job. You don’t want to order trim pieces or extras after the fact, they may not match.

3 – If you have a good sub ask for referrals. They usually have a network of the same caliber of work.

4 – If it requires a permit you probably shouldn’t be doing it yourself. Stick to the small projects.

5 – Always get 3-4 verified referrals before hiring anyone. Don’t just read yelp reviews.

6 – Check all of your subs license, bond and insurance. If they are doing work for you they should have it all.

7 – Educate yourself so you know about the project your sub is working on. Know what they are ordering, why you need it and if they are doing the work or hiring someone else to come in.

8 – Source your own materials, I guarantee you are paying someone by the hour to find your products and materials. You can even pay for the materials yourself and pay your sub separately. Order 20% extra for most products in case of problems or damage especially flooring and stone.

9 – Communicate with your contractor or subs and don’t be afraid to speak up. They are working for you so have confidence. Just don’t call them at all hours of the night, they have a life too!

10 – Get yourself some blue painters’ tape and put pieces in places or on items that have issues, or you may have questions about. Make a final “punch list” which is a list of all the things that need to be fixed before final payment! I am known for my blue tape and punch lists!

So that’s my tips, I hope they help! If you have any questions feel free to em me!!

Have fun!!

Carrie
XOXO