DIY (Do-It-Yourself) home improvement is very popular these days. We have cable channels dedicated to teach you how to do something yourself, YouTube for DIY video tutorials, websites or blogs that have instructions, photos, videos as well. All these make it easier for us to handle home maintenance jobs well if we have the wherewithal to do so. Some jobs are easily handled by do-it-yourself solutions while some require professional expertise. When waterproofing certain areas in your home such as the basement, the deck or the balcony, should you DIY or call in the professionals?
Most homeowners would immediately opt for DIY waterproofing to save on cost. DIY appeals to them because they can save a substantial amount by eliminating labor costs as well as the waterproofing contactor’s profit. Homeowners with a lot of time in their hands may also look forward to a DIY home maintenance project to keep themselves busy.
Before you undertake waterproofing yourself, take a moment to answer these questions taken from the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI):
- Do you enjoy physical work?
- Are you persistent and patient?
- Do you have reliable work habits—meaning that once the project is started, will it get finished?
- Do you have all the tools needed and, more importantly, the skills required to do the job?
- What quality level do you need for this project? Are your skills at that level?
- Do you have the time that will be required to complete the project? (Always double or triple the time estimated for a DIY project, unless you are highly skilled and familiar with that particular project.)
- Will it matter if the project remains unfinished for a period of time?
- Are you prepared to handle the kind of stress this project will create in your family relationships?
- Do you know all of the steps involved in the project?
- Have you received the installation instructions from the manufacturer to determine whether this is a project you still want to undertake? (Most manufacturers will send you installation instructions before purchase to determine whether the product will meet your needs.)
- Is this a job you can do completely by yourself or will you need assistance? If you do need assistance, what skill level is involved for your assistant? If you need a professional subcontractor, do you have access to a skilled labor pool?
- Are you familiar with your local building codes and permit requirements? (Some jurisdictions require that the work be completed by a licensed and bonded professional in order to meet code.) It’s best to check these requirements before beginning work on the project.
- What will you do if the project goes awry? (Most contractors are wary about taking on a botched DIY job.)
- Is it safe for you to do this project? (Some jobs can be fatal if not performed correctly. Your health and safety should be the primary concern. Never enter into a DIY project that would jeopardize either.)
- Will you be able to obtain the materials you need? Who will be your source of supply? Will they deliver?
- Are you attempting to do-it-yourself for financial reasons? If so, have you looked at all of your costs, including the cost of materials, your time, and the tools you need to purchase? If you are new to the DIY game, you may also want to look at the cost to correct any mistakes you may make—i.e., the damage factor. Will it still be a cost-saving venture?
- If you are trying DIY for the satisfaction of a job well done—can you ensure that the job will be “well done”? If it doesn’t come out right, how will you feel? Will you be able to afford to redo any unsatisfactory work?
If you answered eight questions or more with yes, then you may be up to a DIY waterproofing project. Add these to your considerations to take into account as well:
- Knowledge of basement waterproofing practices and procedures is essential to a successful outcome;
- You must know the precautions to take with respect to buried hydro and gas lines, and particularly safe excavation practices;
- Basement waterproofing requires skill and experience; it is also a lot of work;
- If you are cutting open your basement floor to install a perimeter drain system you have to be able to control the dust while you are working; and
- If you sell your house you won’t have a warranty to present to the purchasers or their home inspectors. It could also give potential buyers a reason to negotiate the selling price down or walk away.
A professional waterproofing contractor provides free consultations. The problem is diagnosed properly. This means that a waterproofing contractor does not only fix the lead but finds the source of the leak. Once the problem has been properly identified, a professional contractor will also provide you with recommendations specifically tailored to your home and location to prevent future leakage, seepage, and/or flooding; not all issues are the same and the solution is not one-size-fits-all.
Proper waterproofing may take time but a professional contractor has the equipment and training necessary to complete the job in a reasonable amount of time. You save yourself precious personal time researching waterproofing methods, sourcing and purchasing the right materials, and doing the job yourself because a professional contractor already has the experience and the expertise. An added bonus to working with professional contractors is they offer warranty for the job they do.
Consider hiring a professional to waterproof your basement as an investment, not a cost. A professional waterproofing contractor will do the job right the first time around, have the equipment and the expertise, will save you precious time as well as lessen your physical and mental stress.
After reading this article and you feel that DIY waterproofing is not for you, call Westside Company in Los Angeles at 310 994 4626 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free, no obligation quote on your project. Westside Company is a professional waterproofing contractor providing Southern California customers with 100% satisfaction for over 20 years and provide them with up to 10 years of material warranty and 5 years labor warranty.