There! I fixed it

ducttapSo you have had your home inspection, and the report says “recommend repair by qualified contractor”.

Your neighbour says “I watched a guy do that once, lets get some beers and do it this weekend”.

“Done it myself” is how home inspectors earn their fees.  Badly done, poorly planned renovations are what keeps us writing many pages of deficiencies.  Before you do it yourself you need to have a good understanding of what you are going to be messing with. Do yourself a favour and take advantage of the many resources available to you.

Do you know why and how plumbing should be vented?  Do you know the difference between a white wire, red wire, black wire and a green wire?  Can you locate the bearing walls in your house?  Should you be using valley flashing, and where should you be putting it?
The internet is probably the best resource for information provided you are good at sorting  the pepper from the fly poop.  Your library, building supply store, sites such as Alberta Municipal Affairs Safety Code page, the bookstores in one of Alberta’s colleges where trades are taught,  your local continuing education council have books, videos and courses for do it your-selfers.  College bookstores and  bookstores that specialize in technical subjects are good places to find resources that are used by professionals.

You need to keep in mind that there is no substitute for experience.  A professional who is able to keep food on the table doing what they do, will do it faster and better, and sometimes even cheaper than you can do it yourself.  Some tasks are easier than others. Your personal talents abilities and skills are unique to you,  you will be able to do some things better than others.

Here is my personal list of things that I will reach the phone next time.

Roofing –   If you like Iron Man competitions, you will love roofing.

Tasks requiring trowels – If you have trouble walking a straight line without spilling your coffee, stay far far away from anything involving cement, plaster or mudding and taping drywall.

Choosing  proportioned, pleasing designs and colour combinations.  If you love your green, purple and orange plaid socks, maybe call a friend for a second opinion before ordering any shade of paint other than off white.

 

Is your home inspector licensed?

In Alberta home inspectors and home inspection businesses need to be licensed.  If you are not sure if the home inspector you plan to use is licensed, Service Alberta has a page, <http://www.servicealberta.ca/find-if-business-is-licenced.cfm> where you can search for a home inspector or business.

How long will it last?

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)  have posted a chart with estimated life spans here.  These estimates are reasonable and fairly accurate for Edmonton housing, tending toward the worst case, once your stuff has reached the end of its life estimate on this chart, it will probably still be working, but you will need to to keep an eye on it, and you should be budgeting for replacement.