When It's A Professional's Job

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“Why pay for a contractor when my husband can do it for free over the next 3.5 years?”

This is a funny trend I see appear on Instagram every so often. It makes me laugh for many reasons, but the biggest one is because I can relate to it. We all have taken on projects where we “bit off more than we could chew” and in many cases, wished we had hired a professional to do the job.

We all have different limits of what we can realistically take on, whether it’s a lack of time to do a project, lack of skills for that project, the lack of tools and equipment - or all of the above. I know where my limits lie and what I can “realistically” take on, but my wife would laugh and say “yeah right, Tyler.” She’ll quickly remind me that it took me 6 months to hang a shelf or 3 months to finish the last piece of the floor project in our basement. (Actually, she doesn’t even know that there’s still a piece of trim that never got put on...)

Why am I saying all of this? You can refer to last month’s article for my perspective on the types of jobs that are better options for a DIY approach. For all the other possible jobs out there, it’s probably best to hire out the work.

In this article, I wanted to share some home improvement ideas that will elevate your home, but likely require hiring a contractor for the work.

Finishing Your Basement

You’ll find it challenging to finish your basement for less than $50/sq ft, but the investment can be well worth it when it comes to your home’s resale value. My advice when laying out your basement is to:

1) Add 1-2 bedrooms

2) Keep the bedrooms normal sizes (no bigger than 12’x12’)

3) Add a ¾ bathroom, if possible.

The space that remains after these suggestions can be the entertaining areas.

I’ve seen many times where a basement includes an extremely large bedroom, likely put in for a teenager. But this often leaves a poor layout for the rest of the basement. Some homes only had this bedroom finished in the basement. The best advice I would give to these homeowners for finishing their basement is to tear down those bedroom walls and make it a smaller, more typical size.

Remodeling Your Bathroom(s)

The next area that will elevate your house in today’s market is a bathroom remodel. Bathroom styles have changed drastically over the years and we occasionally see a time capsule house still containing the pastel pink ceramic square tile. Today, you can really bring a bathroom to life simply by installing a shell shower insert or tiling the entire shower. Deciding which route to go will will be financially driven and I’d lean towards the shell insert for lower-priced houses.

Updating Floors

The last tip that can elevate your home is flooring installation. Like I mentioned last month, I prefer carpet in the bedrooms and luxury vinyl plank (LVP) everywhere else. LVP flooring has become a high quality product and is relatively cheap. I always estimate $7/square foot for new flooring installed. This can vary drastically due to complexity of the project or material selected. I mentioned last month that I installed a great product, Sonos Eclipse by Inhaus, in my mother-in-law’s basement.

Finding a Professional

The process of finding a quality, trustworthy professional to do each of these jobs for you can be overwhelming. I highly recommend a close friend of mine, Chris Osterloh of Oz Construction. He can do a wide range of indoor and outdoor projects, including concrete work. Scan the QR code for his contact information, plus my other trusted contacts I recommend for unique projects including drywall, tree cutting/clean up and garage doors.

When you don’t have the time, tools, equipment and skills needed to do a home improvement project yourself, hiring a contractor will ensure a high quality job done that you can feel good about!

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