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5 Home Improvements That Are Not DIY Friendly

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5 Home Improvements That Are Not DIY Friendly

General advice says that you can save some money by taking on some of your home improvement projects yourself. HGTV tells you that there is nothing you cannot do to improve your home. That may be true of projects like painting, pressure washing, and gutter cleaning. However, there are home improvement projects that are better left to the professionals.

Check out five home improvements that are not just not DIY friendly, but can actually be more expensive when you do them yourself.

1. Anything You Need a Permit For

There are a substantial number of home improvement projects that require permits from the city, and the full list often depends on the ordinances in your local area. Generally speaking, anytime you need to break or move ground, you require a permit.

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Too many DIY-lovers skip the permit stage altogether, and that gets expensive if a neighbor tattles on your or an inspect happens to notice. It is also problematic if the work is being done to help sell your house. Homeowners are required to list unpermitted work upon selling. Not getting that permit can negate the money you saved on doing yourself in costs later. Basically, if your project requires you to apply for a permit, seek a professional to get the right permits and do the work for you.

2. Roofing

Roofing is a relatively easy project, especially compared to plumbing or electrical work. Nailing asphalt shingles to a flat surface does not require a huge amount of technical know-how. However, roofing is best left to the professionals simply because of the sheer scale of the project.

Think about it. You have been standing on your roof, and working hard for several hours. It is hot, and you are tired. You are also not completely confident when walking on the roof. Not only is it more likely that it will take you substantially longer to re-roof your house than a professional, but you are also more likely to fall and injure yourself during the project. Any work requiring more than nailing a few shingles down should be handed over to the professionals. It will cost more upfront, but generally speaking, a roofing contractor costs less money than an orthopedic surgeon.

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2. Removing a Wall

Open living plans are all the rage in modern home architecture, and homeowners with older properties are often tempted to remove some of the seemingly needless walls to make their home feel bigger and brighter. Tempting as that may be, do not do it.

Some of the walls in your home may be blocking light from reaching dark corners, but they may also be load bearing walls that support the ceiling in your home. Knocking down a load bearing wall without replacing the support ends in disaster. There is no question that your ceiling will come crashing down. Rather, it is just a question of when it will happen. When it does, it will cost more to fix than asking a professional which wall is suitable to remove.

4. Plumbing Projects

Anyone who has tried to remodel a kitchen or bathroom knows that plumbing can be prohibitively expensive for any project. Most of those people have also weighed the costs of doing the plumbing work themselves. Replacing the showerhead, hooking up a sink, and installing a washing machine are all jobs that you can complete on your own with the right tools and a good instruction manual. However, any time you need to touch a water supply line, or move a pipe to install an appliance, you need to call a plumber.

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Not knowing what you are doing can result in small mistakes that quickly result in huge disasters. Even creating a small leak in a pipe can cause a huge amount of water damage to your home if you do not have the experience to notice, not to mention the fact that a big mistake can result in a fire or flood.

5. Gas Related Projects

Installing a new gas stove is one of those project that should always, always, always be done by a professional. Connecting a stove to a gas pipe seems simple enough. You need a wrench, a pipe, and two thunks to get it done. But, use the wrong materials, or even under-tighten one of the nuts, and you can cause a gas leak. Gas leaks are dangerous because not only are you breathing in gas, but gas leaks often result in explosions, which can kill you and anyone in the general area.

All homeowners should have essential DIY skills for saving extra cash on small projects. Part of this knowledge includes knowing when to call in the cavalry and get professional work done for projects that are not DIY friendly.

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Featured photo credit: Scott Lewis via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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