How to Forecast Your New Home’s DIY Needs

As a keen DIYer, you don’t mind purchasing a home that needs a little fixing up – in fact, you may even be keen to take up the challenge. But there are a lot of tasks, both large and small, that may only become apparent once you’ve already taken ownership. So, how long will that DIY list be? And what about the list of things that you can’t, or at least shouldn’t, do yourself? There’s an easy way to determine just how long your worklist will be. Here’s how.

Get a High-Tech Home Inspection

It’s amazing what issues you can spot with high tech home inspection equipment. Buying it isn’t really worthwhile. After all, you won’t use it more than once every few years even if you flip homes as a habit. But that doesn’t stop you from getting someone with thermal imaging equipment, radon gas meters, and so on, to do the job for you.

While you’re at it, you may as well let the home inspection service go over the place with a fine-toothed comb. After all, looking for trouble is their business. Fixing it is your hobby.

That inspection will pick up things like roof leaks, energy efficiency issues, electrical faults in the making, and everything from dicey garage doors to radon gas contamination. The idea is to get a full list of things to be done before you commit to buying. You’ll be able to see what you’re letting yourself in for, both in terms of cost, and time.

Check the List and Decide What You’ll DIY

At worst, you’ll end up with a long to do list – but you shouldn’t even think of trying to DIY absolutely everything. Decide where you will need help from certified artisans. For example, electrical faults are best left to electricians with the necessary qualifications and licensing. Roof replacement is something you definitely don’t want to tackle on your own, but roof repairs may be well within your scope.

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Split the list into the tasks you can tackle yourself and those you either can’t or don’t want to do without professional help. Now it’s time to move to the next step.

Determine Costs and Set Priorities

Your DIY forecast shouldn’t just consist of a “sometime maybe never” list of things to do. You will be investing time and money. Ideally, you should quantify what you’re letting yourself in for. While you may be quite happy to get your hands dirty, your time and resources are limited. Meanwhile, your family is waiting for you, and at some point, they will want answers when they ask questions about your DIY forecast.

Both you and your family will find a long list of “I can do that” tasks stressful if there’s no indication of when you’ll get round to them. Saying you can grab your tools and do a task in minutes is all very well, but if you already have a full working week and want at least some time to relax in the evenings or over weekends, you need to be realistic about when those minutes will be available.

The bottom line is to plan before you throw yourself at your task list. No forecast is complete without budgets and timelines, and these will be up to you to determine. Discuss your task list with your family so that they know where they stand with small but irritating issues like sticking cupboard doors, chipped tiles, or minor AC problems.

List too long? Repairs too costly? Maybe you should reconsider buying that home – but you need the task list before you can make that decision.

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