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Contractor or DIY For Your Garage Renovation?

Your home is finished from top to bottom. A lot of time, energy and money have gone into getting every room just the way you want it. You’ve done most of the work yourself, but for some of the more complicated jobs you made way for the professionalism of a contractor. Now that you’ve finally gotten around to renovating the garage you’re faced with the same question: should you do the work yourself, or should you hire a contractor to do the job for you?

The easiest way to answer this question is to honestly look at your handyman skill level. If you’re the kind of person who loves a design and decorating challenge, then renovating the garage will probably be easier than most of the other rooms in your house. On the other hand, if you have signed a contract forbidding you to ever pick up a power tool, then you had best start thumbing the yellow pages to find a good contractor. For most people, however, the answer to who should remodel your garage lies somewhere between the two.

The majority of homeowners have some level of Do-It-Yourself skill. In fact, the basics of renovating the garage are a great project for any homeowner, no matter how at ease they are with a hammer. Since the garage is one of the least public spaces in your home, making a few mistakes here and there can be forgiven, because you will be the only one to see them. You may want to pick and choose the projects you take on, as some garage renovations are better suited to the Do-It-Yourselfer than others.

Tool racks are a great place to start your DIY garage renovation. These racks can be as simple as hammering a few well placed nails into the wall to hang your snow shovel and rake. Creating a shelving unit out of two-by-fours and particle board will take a little bit more thought and design, but can also be straight forward to put together. More advanced handymen will even want to incorporate peg board for their tools and custom built bins to store things on their shelves.

If you find it easier to assemble materials following somebody else’s instructions instead of designing your own, there are a number of modular garage storage units available at your local hardware store. Many of these shelving and storage units can be put together quickly with basic tools you have on hand, some even coming with their own specialized tool for easy assembly. These pre-fabricated units are as sturdy as anything you can make on your own, will fit in the back of most cars, and will have your garage organized by the end of the day. Being so easy to put together makes these units a favourite among Do-It-Yourselfers who don’t want to take on the entire project.

Although you can probably do most of the renovations in your garage yourself, there are a few for which you would be better off calling a qualified contractor. These contractor jobs are the more complicated projects in your garage, such as installing the garage door, moving the wiring or plumbing and replacing the garage floor. You may no longer like the style of your garage door, or find your hose line and outlets need to be moved because of your new shelving units. Before taking on such jobs you need to ask yourself if you really are qualified to do the job.

Things like plumbing and electrical should be done by a licensed professional to make sure your home is safe and up to code. Because garage doors are big and bulky they will take a team of people to install them properly. Added to the door’s size and weight are the fact that most work on a coiled spring mechanism to keep them in place, a job that is tricky even for the most experienced professionals. Pouring concrete is another job that requires experience if it is to be done properly. Unless you want a garage floor that is uneven and pools water, you had best leave this part of the renovation project to the experts.

Doing your garage renovation project yourself can give you a great sense of accomplishment. The garage can be a terrific learning ground for basic carpentry skills that you can uses on other renovation projects in your house. Still, for the bigger projects in your garage renovation, you will want to hire a contractor to make sure the job is done properly. Every handyman has his limit, and knowing yours will ensure you are happy with your garage renovation.

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